Paul Aikins was an actor; he ended up teaching high school music theatre. Now, with the national-champion choir he leads featured in a new documentary, an old student checks in with her teacher and former enemy.
On the occasion of her online magazine’s second anniversary—and second publication, Rookie Yearbook Two—the 17-year-old empire operator talks about art, commerce, ’90s nostalgia, and getting off the internet.
A conversation about politics as culture with Dissident Gardens author Jonathan Lethem.
The filmmaker behind the seminal documentary, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary, talks to Hazlitt about how the project came together, underground comics in Reagan-era America, and a memorable call to Mad magazine.
This morning’s edition of our Shelf Esteem column by Emily M. Keeler featured an ‘as-told-to’ style interview with David Gilmour, the award-winning Canadian novelist who also teaches literature at the University of Toronto. In the article Gilmour shares his opinions on women writers (“I don’t love women writers enough to teach them, if you want women writers go down the hall. What I teach is guys.”), and his lack of enthusiasm for Canadian literature. It didn’t take long before a tempest came thundering over Twitter. And within a few hours his comments were reported elsewhere in the media (here, here, and here, for example).
Gilmour has since suggested that his remarks were taken out of context in an interview with Mark Medley of the National Post. And that he was joking. It bears pointing out that the 'as-told-to' style in which we publish our Shelf Esteem column is a common journalistic format, foregrounding the subject in a loose, conversational manner intended to feel more direct and intimate. We omit the interviewer and edit the transcripts for length, clarity and flow, always mindful of context. In the case of the Gilmour interview we did not leave out anything he said that would have qualified or elaborated on the comments that have proved controversial.
Given Gilmour’s claim that his comments were taken out of context we are publishing the complete, unedited transcript of his conversation with Keeler, small talk and all. Readers can judge for themselves.
Hazlitt talks to Margaret Atwood about her latest novel, MaddAddam, which completes the dystopic trilogy she began with Oryx and Crake. Plus everything from Twitter flirtations, military history, the state of Canadian literature, and cybersecurity.
In Taipei, Tao Lin's third novel and seventh book, the protagonist takes drugs, falls in "love," and sits down for an interview with a 22-year-old journalist. Here, that journalist—or rather, the woman she's based on—speaks with Lin once again.
The 26-year-old Israeli novelist—and former weapons instructor—debuted last year with The People of Forever Are Not Afraid, inspired by her experience in the IDF. She is serious and blunt, but liable to giggle at Youtube videos.
The journalist and author of Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina talks about tracing her DNA and the nature of identity.
In 1985, The Big Evasion by Anne Collins was published just in time to capitalize on the country heated abortion debate across the country. Aptly subtitled Abortion: The Issue That Won't Go Away, the book covered not only the trial of Canada's Dr. Henry Morgentaler and his attempts to overturn the country's abotion law, but also the tactics and evasions of both sides of the debate.
Following Morgentaler's death earlier this week, we asked Collins five questions about him, how his death will influence the ongoing debate, and what his legacy will be.
As her exhibition representing Canada at the 55th Venice Biennale opens, we talk with Shary Boyle about the inspiration behind her new work, what passes for the avant garde these days, and how doing Venice has distracted her from turning forty.
The Citizen Lab director speaks with Wired columnist and New York Times Magazine contributing writer Clive Thompson about cybercrime, online surveillance, and why we might need a new Internet.
Hazlitt talks to the much celebrated Swamplandia! author about outsider art, her latest collection of stories, horror films, and the escapism of writing a novel.
Kirk Heron is a comedian and writer who told me that he would be unfit for my Shelf Esteem column here at Hazlitt because he only keeps one book at home, and it’s a single collected volume of Lord of the Rings. He is perhaps best known as the co-creator and quiz master of Toronto’s most popular weekly trivia night, Brass Facts, but is also a question-writer behind the scenes on the beloved trivial enterprise Cash Cab. The show follows host and cab driver Adam Growe around as he picks up fares in Toronto and quizzes them en route to their destination. Contestants, as you might expect from the name of the show, are given cash for correctly answering each question. Like trivia in general, it’s silly and delightful.
What would you say is the platonic ideal of a trivia question?
I can’t say for sure what type of trivia question Plato would have enjoyed. God, that was a bad joke. I can, however, say that trials have shown that the best trivia question is one that is multi-faceted. Instead of boring and straightforward question like “Who was the King of England in 1767?,” it’s much more fun to ask the same question with more information. A bunch of trivia geeks will know that the King of England during 1767 was George III, but they might not know that he had an affair with a hedge trimmer. I just made that up, of course, but asking “What British monarch had an affair with a hedge trimmer in 1767?” is perfectly confusing.
The author talks to Hazlitt about her new book, The Woman Upstairs, girl-crush relationships, and eating in the bathtub.
The Defector director Ann Shin talks to Hazlitt about the human smugglers who extract people from the DPRK, why so many defectors are women, and where those who leave go next.
The comedian speaks to Hazlitt about his new book, his new TV show, adapting his storytelling style from one medium to the next, and when killing yourself for your art might be the right call.
An interview with Sini Anderson, director of The Punk Singer, a documentary about the riot grrrl icon's life and work.
The first in a new series in which authors and their editors discuss process, publishing, and what went on behind-the-scenes of a new work. First up: Lisa Gabriele, aka L. Marie Adeline, author of S.E.C.R.E.T., dishes with editor Nita Pronovost.
Hazlitt talks with the author of Ghana Must Go about transnationalism, identity, and why we can’t escape our families.