Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Corey Redekop

At Skullring.org, Matt Staggs interviewed Corey Redekop, author of Shelf Monkey.

The beginning of the interview:

Naturally, Corey, I know who you are, but there are some of our readers who might not be as familiar with you. Would you mind introducing yourself?

My name is Corey Redekop. Scorpio. 5’11”. I am currently the director of the Thompson Public Library in Thompson, Manitoba. I have past degrees in law and theatre, and use neither as often as I can help it. I enjoy running, long walks in the park, and shiny things. Ooh, a nickel!

Can you give us a rundown of Shelf Monkey? What's the plot?

Shelf Monkey is what I like to refer to as a pulp novel about great literature or, if you prefer, a bookworm’s wet dream. It concerns a group of bookstore employees who take arms against a sea of ignorance, personified in their eyes by an odious American talk-show host. Basically, they pull a Rushdie on him. If you get the reference, you’ll get the book.

How did you come up with the idea for the novel?

I worked for a short time at Chapters, which is a big box bookstore up here in Canada, I suppose the equivalent is Barnes and Noble, or Borders. It was at a time when Oprah Winfrey’s book club mania was at its peak, which was great for some authors, and absolute murder for the rest. Seeing people ignore Palahniuk or Vonnegut in favour of Wally Lamb was one of the more depressing experiences in my life, and fueled the intense righteous and completely misguided rage that permeates the novel. Was that too arrogant? Maybe, but the result, for better or worse, is the book. The title comes from my nickname for us sisyphus’ in the stacks, putting books that no one ever reads on the shelves, then taking them down later. I called us shelf monkeys, sort of like the restaurant tradition of referring to dishwashers as dish pigs.
Read the entire interview.

The Page 99 Test: Shelf Monkey.

--Marshal Zeringue