University of Calgary

Marina Endicott to read from novel in progress

UToday HomeMarch 8, 2013

By Heath McCoy

Marina Endicott, current Writer-in-Residence at the University of Alberta, will read from her novel in progress Hughtopia when she comes to the University of Calgary on March 12. Photo courtesy of Marina Endicott.Marina Endicott, current Writer-in-Residence at the University of Alberta, will read from her novel in progress Hughtopia when she comes to the University of Calgary on March 12. Photo courtesy of Marina EndicottLit-lovers, and in particular fans of acclaimed Canadian writer Marina Endicott, will have a rare opportunity for a sneak peek into her novel in progress, Hughtopia, when the author comes to the University of Calgary for a March 12 reading.

Endicott, who has been in Edmonton as the University of Alberta’s 2012-2013 Writer-in-Residence, has been working on Hughtopia throughout her residency. While she’s well into the work, she admits that sharing it in its raw, unedited form will be a bit nerve-wracking.

“I’ll take that challenge and actually read from the new manuscript, but it’s a very scary thing to do,” she says, joking: “I hope the audience doesn’t have to suffer along with me.”

Endicott’s reading and talk – set for 7:30 p.m. March 12 in the Taylor Family Digital Library’s Gallery Hall (no pre-registration required) – is part of an exchange program with the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program. Our Canadian Writer-in-Residence, Deborah Willis, will be heading to Edmonton for a March 11 reading.

Hughtopia, Endicott’s fourth novel, is about the owner of a gallery “who is unhappy for many reasons and considers himself unfixable,” says Endicott. “But he thinks that his friends could all use some help, so he is dabbling in their lives, trying to create a ‘Hughtopia.’ ”

Endicott says the novel was in its earliest stages when she began her residency last September and she expects to have a finished draft by the end of her term in May.

“I know I wouldn’t have been able to finish the book this year without the luxury of the residency and the time it’s given me to concentrate on the work that needs to be done,” she says.

The residency allowed Endicott to develop her novel while devoting half of her time to manuscript consultation with the university’s creative writing students.

Endicott, who was born in Golden, B.C. and raised in Nova Scotia and Toronto, published her first book Open Arms in 2001. Her second, Good to a Fault, was a finalist for the 2008 Giller Prize and it won the 2009 Commonwealth Prize for best book Canadian/Caribbean. Her third novel, The Little Shadows, was shortlisted for the 2011 Governor General’s Award.

Endicott is eagerly anticipating her Calgary engagement and she praises the Writer-in-Residence exchange program between the two universities.

“I think it’s important for writing communities to maintain contact with each other,” she says. “And these residencies offer a rare view into the inner workings of our private practice. Here we are, displaying it for you all to see.”

 

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