Clark Blaise and Rudy Weibe in Conversation

Recorded at Studio 1398 on Saturday, October 22, 2011.

When a writer releases a volume called Collected Stories, 1955–2010, you know that this is a writer with “legs,” who has certainly stood the test of time. When an author who has published 20 books of fiction and non-fiction releases his first collection of short stories in nearly 20 years (The Meagre Tarmac), you also know that you’re looking at great talent. Rudy Wiebe and Clark Blaise, now both in their 70s, sit down together to talk about their lives as writers, the craft of the short story, the “Canadian experience,” the caste system in India, and anything else that leaps into their fertile, inquisitive and sharp minds.

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Clark Blaise is the author of 20 books of fiction and non-fiction. A long-time advocate for the literary arts in North America, Blaise has taught writing and literature at numerous colleges and universities. Internationally recognized for his contributions to the field, Blaise received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2003 and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2009. Blaise now divides his time between New York and San Francisco, where he lives with his wife, American novelist Bharati Mukherjee. His new collection of stories is The Meagre Tarmac.




Rudy Wiebe has been entertaining, educating and inspiring readers with award-winning novels, short stories, essays, memoirs, histories and screenplays for more than 50 years. Wiebe received the Governor General’s Award for fiction in 1973 for The Temptations of Big Bear and again, in 1994, for A Discovery of Strangers. In 2007, he won the Charles Taylor Prize for literary non-fiction for his memoir, Of This Earth: A Mennonite Boyhood in the Boreal Forest. Wiebe is an Officer of the Order of Canada. His new book, Collected Stories: 1955–2010, contains 50 short stories from his expansive career, including four previously unpublished pieces. He lives with his wife, Tena, in Edmonton.