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Podcast Episode 20
12:01pm

And a Dog Called Fig

with Helen Humphreys
Hosted by Rhonda Douglas

And a Dog Called Fig

with Helen Humphreys
Hosted by Rhonda Douglas
5
Tuesday
Jul
12:01pm
Helen Humphreys

Author and poet Rhonda Douglas hosts a conversation with Helen Humphreys, winner of the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Lambda Literary Award for Fiction and the Toronto Book Award, about her latest publication, And a Dog Called Fig: Solitude, Connection, the Writing Life .

 

An artist’s solitude is a sacred space, one to be guarded and kept apart from the chaos of the world. This isolation allows for uninhibited wandering, uninterrupted meditation and the nurturing of sparks of inspiration into fires of creation. But in the artist’s quiet there is also loneliness, self-doubt, the possibility of collapsing too far inward.

 

What an artist needs is a familiar, a creature perfectly suited to accompany them on this coveted, difficult journey. They need a companion with emotional intelligence, innate curiosity, passion and energy and an enthusiasm for the world beyond, but also the capacity to sleep contentedly for many hours. What an artist needs, Helen Humphreys would say, is a dog.

 

And a Dog Called Fig is a memoir of the writing life told through the dogs Humphreys has lived with and loved over a lifetime, culminating with the recent arrival and settling in of Fig, a Vizsla puppy. Interspersed are stories of other writers and their irreplaceable companions: Virginia Woolf and Grizzle, Gertrude Stein and Basket, Thomas Hardy and Wessex—the dog who walked the dining table at dinner parties, taking whatever he liked—and many more.

 

Books are available from our friends at Perfect Books.

 

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