For those of you who don’t know Terry Fallis, here’s a little background: Award-winning Canadian novelist, Terry is the author of four national bestsellers, all published by McClelland and Stewart (M&S). Whether winning the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour twice made him a funny man, or he was born with a sense of humor, is anybody’s guess. Members and guests at the Writer’s Community of York Region were in for a treat with Terry’s talk about his induction into the feminist club, his stint as President of the Students Union at McMaster University where he earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree, his forays into provincial politics, his love affair with books, and much more.
Equipped with a PowerPoint presentation with slides full of pictures from his past, Terry entertained his audience with snippets from his student days when guys would not think of him as pleasant company due to his aversion to lewd jokes about women. The backdrop was apt for discussing his newly launched book, Poles Apart, the story of a young man inspired by feminism.
Terry read from his book, amid peals of laughter, an excerpt that featured an anticlimax between the protagonist and a female character who turns out to be lesbian.
On a more sober note, he crunched some numbers to emphasize that half the world’s population is affected by people’s attitudes towards females. He admitted that even though holding the door for women reinforces ancient patriarchal values, he holds the door for anybody who’s behind him, regardless of gender or specie, hence including dogs in the list.
The talk was wrapped up by an engaging and instructive Q & A session where audience posed a wide gamut of questions ranging from the book editing process to how he found his voice in writing books. Many stayed back for a signed copy of his new book and for some handy tips on podcasting.
Vinita Kinra is a Toronto-based author, editor, speaker and activist, best known for her short story collection, Pavitra in Paris, launched to critical acclaim in 2013. She is also a contributor for India’s largest English daily, The Times of India.