Interviewed by Michelle Kelm
M.A.C. Farrant is an award-winning Canadian author of fiction, nonfiction, and memoir. She is a regular book reviewer for the Globe & Mail and the Vancouver Sun and has taught writing at the University of Victoria, the Banff Centre for the Arts, and MacQuarrie University in Australia where she was Writer-in-Residence.
Farrant has been nominated for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, The Van City Book Prize, the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, the National Magazine Awards, and the Gemini Awards for the Bravo short film adaptation of her story, Rob’s Guns & Ammo. Her novel, The Strange Truth About Us was a Globe & Mail Best Book for 2012. Her latest stage play is My Turquoise Years.
I have admired Farrant’s intelligent and bizarre humour for years and was delighted when she agreed to speak to me by email.
It’s clear from My Turquoise Years that your upbringing was a bit unusual. Can you describe your childhood?
My childhood was highly unusual for the times – Post-war, fifties and early sixties – when the nuclear family represented something like 92% of all Canadian families. So to have a willingly absent mother, a visiting father from Vancouver, and to be raised by my father’s sister, her husband, and the rest of the extended family, was an anomaly, to say the least. Feelings of being different arose, of course, but, actually, I had a great childhood filled with inventiveness, creativity, and the freedom to be who I was. The family was very tight-knit and they pretty much thought I was wonderful even though I was a pain in the ass a lot of the time.