Proust questionnaire: Michael Crummey

Michael Crummey likes to say that he was born in a mining town “as far from the water as you can get and still be in Newfoundland,” but his award winning poetry, bestselling novels and short stories ring true with Atlantic voices
Photo credit: Arielle Hogan
Photo credit: Arielle Hogan

Michael Crummey likes to say that he was born in a mining town “as far from the water as you can get and still be in Newfoundland,” but his award winning poetry, bestselling novels and short stories ring true with Atlantic voices. His new novel, the darkly humorous Sweetland (Random House), follows Moses Sweetland as he remains in his remote island home long after the rest of the town abandons it to the ghosts and the weather.

What do you consider to be your
best quality?
I have a very thick head of hair. Sadly, it’s all downhill from there.

A quality you desire in a partner:
Patience!

What do you appreciate most about your friends?
Book recommendations. Beer at the Duke during the playoffs. Bad puns. Dinner parties.

Your favourite occupation:
If you mean, favourite of all the occupations I’ve endured, then I would have to say writer. If you mean, favourite hypothetical occupation, I would have to say writer.

What is your idea of happiness?
A cold Sapporo and a bowl of Kettle Brand Organic Salt and Pepper chips.

Your idea of misery:
Mowing the freakin’ lawn.

If you could be someone else for a day who would it be?
My dog. He’s got a pretty sweet set-up, if you ask me.

Where you would most like to live?
Somewhere with a more temperate climate and a longer summer. Greenland comes to mind.

Favourite colour:
Black, which contains all colours.

Your favourite poets:
Jack Gilbert. Paul Muldoon. Wistawa Szymborska. Karen Solie.

Favourite authors:
Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Mavis Gallant. Recently reading Faulkner and realizing most of the best bits in Cormac McCarthy (who I think is brilliant) are riffs on or lifted from Faulkner.

Your favourite food & drink:
See my idea of happiness, above: Sapporo, Organic Salt and Pepper chips.

Your favourite fictional heroes:
Henry Smart in Roddy Doyle’s A Star Called Henry. Oddly Flowers in Jessica Grant’s Come, Thou Tortoise and Rockwell Kent in Michael Winter’s The Big Why.

What is your greatest fear?
Being broke. Followed closely by having to work a real job again.

How you want to die:
Well, not at all, of course. But since I have no choice in the matter, I would prefer to go in my sleep, late in life, while I still enjoy food, have all my faculties and most of my teeth.

Your present state of mind:
I was fine until I was forced to answer the last question. Now I feel like I need a beer. And a bowl of chips.

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