From Truth to Mystery Thriller - Meet Iain Reid

Moose Jaw - - FACES OF THE REGION - By Janet Kil­gan­non for Moose Jaw Ex­press

You know that you have dis­cov­ered some­thing im­por­tant when you leave a one-hour ses­sion with an author and you im­me­di­ately rush out to ac­quire all of his books. That is what hap­pened when I heard author Iain Reid at the Fes­ti­val of Words.

Reid is a well-known and skilled writer of non-fic­tion. His book ‘One Bird’s Choice’ is sub­ti­tled ‘a Year in the Life of an Overe­d­u­cated, Un­derem­ployed Twenty-Some­thing Who Moves Back Home.’ Yes, many of us can re­late, but as Canada Reads says “Reid is a gifted sto­ry­teller. His fam­ily sto­ries are funny and hon­est, but the real stars of the show are his par­ents - quirky, lov­able char­ac­ters that one grows to love.”

In his next book, ‘The Truth About Luck’, the author ac­com­pa­nies his 92yea- old grand­mother on a five-day va- cation, which turns out to be a ‘stay­ca­tion’ at his apart­ment in Kingston. As he es­corts her to lo­cal at­trac­tions and restau­rants, the two ex­change mem­o­ries and she be­gins to re­veal de­tails of her in­spir­ing life story. Reid was on a suc­cess­ful path of writ­ing mem­oirs. Then he was bit­ten by the thriller bug. His next book, ‘I’m Think­ing of End­ing Things’, is eerie and spooky. Those who have read it al­ready say it is not for con­sump­tion if you are at home alone at night. Most of the ac­tion takes place in and out of a car, over a few hours, as a young man and his new girl­friend travel to meet his par­ents. Noth­ing is what it seems, and you are quickly drawn into the sus­pense. One re­viewer says, “The mo­men­tum is un­stop­ is en­gag­ing, bizarre and twisted...a road trip to the heart of creepi­ness.” The book is about iden­tity and ex­plores the per­ver­sity of lone­li­ness. Jake, the lead char­ac­ter, says that “mem­ory is fic­tion...Fic­tions and mem­o­ries are re­called and re­told. They are both forms of sto­ries. Sto­ries are the way we learn. Sto­ries are how we un­der­stand each other. But re­al­ity hap­pens only once.” He ad­dresses the per­va­sive­ness of de­pres­sion in our so­ci­ety. “De­pres­sion is a se­ri­ous ill­ness. It’s phys­i­cally painful, de­bil­i­tat­ing. And you can’t just de­cide to get over it, in the same way you can’t just de­cide to get over can­cer.”

But the novel hinges on the no­tion of re­al­ity. “It is only real when there are stakes, when some­thing is on the line.” I am wait­ing for my copy of his lat­est novel ‘Foe’ with great an­tic­i­pa­tion.

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