Douglas Coupland: an insight

So after a total age I finally finished Coupland’s Girlfriend in a Coma today (worth a read but be prepared, the end gets whack).

Anyway, Harper Perennial the publishers have this cool addition to all his works where they give bit of back story to each novel and some stuff on Coupland to finish off the book. The timing was funny – I was just walking along thinking I really should learn more about the man himself and his life in order to further understand his works when I came across a quickfire Q & A in the back of the book.

So here it is:

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Right now. Where I am. At home.

What is your greatest fear? That God exists, but doesn’t care very much for humans.

Which living person do you most admire? Vaclav Havel. [yeah, I didn’t have a clue either]

What objects do you always carry with you? Earplugs.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life? Everybody I like and love all living in the same city.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you? We have time and we have free will. Otherwise we’re just animals.

Which writer has had the greatest influence on your work? Jenny Holzer, an American artist whose work is text-based (what a dismal term. How tightly can you compress an idea? Where do ideas end and you, as a person, begin?

Do you have a favourite book? Non-fiction, The Andy Warhol Diaries. Fiction, it’s either Truman Capote’s Answered Prayers or Margaret Drabble’s The Ice Age.

Where do you go for inspiration? Four-hour drives in my car, usually into the interior of British Columbia, into the desert cordillera that stretches from BC down into Mexico. Believe it or not, Canada has cactuses/cacti.

Which book do you wish you had written? The Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century 1914-1991 by Eric Hobsbawm.

What are you writing at the moment? A new novel, Eleanor Rigby.

And if you want a few more daily gems, follow the man himself on Twitter @DougCoupland.


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