Register Saturday | July 4 | 2020

Ladybug Lobotomies and Other Trade Secrets

A "poolside" interview with Carrie Haber

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Carrie Haber once demolished a friend's rented apartment in Prague, ripping down wallpaper that had been glued on with several centimetres of thick pig’s blood. While we at Maisonneuve are all about Eclectic Curiosity, it seems safe to say that Haber is something of an eccentric curiosity.

In our "Poolside Fiction" issue, we present “Say Goodbye to Little Things,” a wonderfully offbeat short story by this writer, filmmaker and musician from Montreal.

MM: What would you entitle your autobiography?
CH: Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Blonde Hair

MM: Who is your muse?
CH: My pillow—especially from under a window through which I can watch flocks of pigeons do that crazy circling thing three times. Why do they do that circling thing three times?

MM: Where do you get your inspiration?
CH: When staring down the neighbour’s dog, and by shaking hands with the details.

MM: Which drugs are best for sparking literary creativity?
CH: Wine. Plus, whichever neurochemical is released when you're engaged in great conversation.

MM: What music is best to listen to while writing?
CH: None. I must have absolute quiet. Music competes and interferes with the rhythms of what I’m writing; it’s like trying to sing one song on top of another. How frustrating is that?

MM: If you could put a soundtrack to your writing who would compose it?
CH: Funny you should ask…I actually do compose soundtracks to my writing. (

MM: Who would you want to direct the film adaptation of your writing?
CH: Buñuel, because he’s so heavy. He’s like a cinematic blacksmith.

MM: Fill in the blank: “I want to write the next great ______________.”
CH: Obituary

MM: Who do you plagiarize from?
CH: Hermann Hesse and Voltaire. I used to read these men when I was thirteen and learned from them that I like my lit small, simple, social and elegant.

MM: Who’s your ideal reader? Who do you write for?

CH: The characters in the stories. They’d have to feel right about it.

MM: If you could switch brains with another writer, who would it be?
CH: I’d rather switch brains with a scientist or a ladybug.

MM: What’s the one book that you’re supposed to read but have never gotten through?
CH: The Dummies’ Guide to Writing Novels

MM: What’s the best way to kill a character?
CH: Astral projection. While the character is busy projecting herself, her two-year-old picks up a pair of scissors and cuts the silver cord.

MM: Write a haiku about your latest book.
CH:    An octave of townies
            All written to metronomes
            Signature stories