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Interview: Adam Lindsay Honsinger

Adam Lindsay Honsinger
I recorded this interview with Adam Lindsay Honsinger in 2016 about his literary novel Gracelessland (Winnipeg: Great Plains Publications, 2015). The interview also available on iTunes, as part of The Village Podcast from the Bookshelf, a bookseller podcast coming out of Guelph, Ontario.

Nominated twice for The Journey Prize, Honsinger is a writer, teacher, and illustrator. Many of his short stories have been published in literary journals, including Descant, Prism International, Other Voices, and Exile Quarterly. At the 2010 National Magazine Awards, a story of his won Silver.

Honsinger grew up in suburban Toronto in the 1970s, and the myth of suburban bliss figures strongly in Gracelessland, as does the protagonist's father's obsession with Elvis Presley. Kepler Pressler -- the name plays simultaneously on the famous astronomer and Elvis -- is the main character. The wordplay with Kepler's name tips off the reader of the humour to come.

This book is often playful. However, Kepler's struggle is serious: he's struggling to come to terms with the cowardly death of his deadbeat, if imaginative, father, and the slow breakdown of both his mother and the house they all lived in.

I will leave you to listen for more about Gracelessland. But I will say that Kepler Pressler is a character I won't forget. He's as memorable a teenage protagonist as (but very different from) Holden Caulfied in J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. I laughed with Kepler and, if I didn't cry, I was moved by his struggle.