A Conversation with a Friend:
Heike Lettrari in Conversation with Nancy Davies

Nancy Davies

As a recent Friend, Nancy Davies was excited to be interviewed for our November 2013 'Friends' edition of Malahat lite. Volunteer Heike Lettrari asked her a few questions on life, writing, and some of the benefits of being a Friend.

So if you’re not the Nancy Davies of Toyota’s VP of Logistics Services, tell us who you are, and a bit about yourself: how long have you been on the West Coast, and what drew you to The Malahat Review?

I took English at UVic in the mid seventies. The Malahat Review was just beginning, the feminist movement was in full swing, and so was the discussion on Canadian literature. I remember essay topics like "What is Canadian literature? Does it even exist? Can something be universal if it is merely regional?" Books like Margaret Atwood's The Edible Woman were considered by some to be feminist palaver, and Alice Munro's Lives of Girls and Women the dabbling of a housewife. Wow! How times have changed. I moved from Victoria to Vancouver in the early eighties and returned to the island a few years ago.

What made you decide to go from “reader of the magazine” to involved supporter and Friend?

I was glad to reconnect with The Malahat Review and support it as a Friend. I have two subscriptions, one for myself and another I take to my local coffee shop here in Sooke. I believe that many magazines are having a tough time these days, and I'm very glad to be able to support such a long standing and respected literary magazine in any way I can.

You’ve been a Friend since March. What was the Friend benefit that you were most excited about? Have you taken advantage of any benefits so far?

I really enjoyed WordsThaw in March, which was an inspiring weekend of poetry, prose, and lots of talk about food. I met so many interesting people and it was a whole lot of fun. I'm also glad to be able to browse through Renaissance books and be rewarded with a 10% discount at the cash register!

Beaches, on holiday, the garden, picnicking; what’s the best place you’ve taken your Malahat Review for aread?

My favorite place to read The Malahat Review is perched on a chair at the top of my rock garden overlooking the ocean.

Do you have a favourite issue of The Malahat, or a piece in one of the issues? If so, what caught you about it? 

I always enjoy the mix of prose and poetry and the in depth book reviews, and particularly remember a story by Carla Funk in the Winter 2012 edition where she describes so beautifully a life in the Nechako valley and the imminent death of her father.

What is your relationship to writing and literature? Do you write yourself?

I worked for many years for the Vancouver Public Library and especially enjoyed working in the Carnegie Reading room in the Downtown Eastside. While one librarian dubbed the reading room the "Louis L'Amour Memorial Library" due to the large number of westerns in the collection, in fact the patrons requested a wide range of books. It was a fascinating and rewarding place to work. I do write, and now that I am retired and living in the wilds of Sooke with no distractions, I'll see if anything comes of it.

Book launch, contest, or straightforward writing–wise, are you excited about any future literary events?

I understand Robert Wiersma has a new novel coming out in 2014, and I am looking forward to that.

Heike Lettrari

Heike Lettrari

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