Five Questions with… Iain Reid


Iain Reid, author of the comic memoir The Truth About Luck: What I Learned on My Road Trip with Grandma, answered our five questions.

IFOA: What inspired you to write about your grandmother?

Reid: I’m not entirely sure what inspired me but I think it had to do with her impressive age and demeanor. She’s lived through so many eras, and changes, that are all just part of history for me; to her they’re strands of her life. I’m interested in how perspectives shift and stay consistent over the course of (nearly) a century of experience. We had a lot of long discussions on our trip, on a variety of topics. Both her long life and the way she still lives inspired me.

IFOA: Like One Bird’s Choice, The Truth About Luck is a memoir with you at its centre. How is this Iain Reid different than the Iain Reid we encountered in your first book?

Reid: Well, I’m definitely older. How else I’ve changed is a little harder to know. I’ve moved away from the farm. I live in a different city. I probably spend more time writing now. I cook more the last few years. I don’t feel tremendously different though, just a little older.

IFOA: What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

Reid: The History of Iceland by Dr. Gudni T. Johannesson.

IFOA: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?

Reid: Probably finishing grad school. Study interests me. But maybe something completely different. My great-grandfather was a baker and I think I’d enjoy that. Like most jobs, I’m sure it would be more taxing and stressful than the excessively placid image I’ve built in my head. But it would smell great all day and I could wear really comfortable clothes.

IFOA: Finish this sentence: It works better if you…

Reid: …go for a walk first.

Reid will appear at Authors at Harbourfront Centre as part of the Ben McNally Travellers Series on March 13.