Maggie Helwig interviewed by National Post
A sample is below. Visit www.nationalpost.com for the full interview.
If The Streets Could Talk
Maggie Helwig brings the city to life, in her new thriller, Girls Fall Down
Mark Medley, National Post
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Maggie Helwig sits in the back room of Sneaky Dee's, among the graffiti-scrawled wooden benches and blackboards advertising the beer on tap and daily specials. It's early afternoon, and the sun floats in off College Street, brightening the dimly lit bar. The piquant smells of fajitas and nachos waft from the kitchen. She still refers to this as the 'new' Sneaky Dee's, recalling the bar's former life on Bloor Street almost two decades ago. It's one surefire way to date yourself, she laughs. The bar is an appropriate setting; the Tex-Mex watering hole gets a shout-out in Girls Fall Down, her book that brings the city to life.
'When I started working on this book I felt ... that Toronto was under-imagined, that Toronto had reached a stage where it needed to start creating a mythology of itself,' she says. 'There's a real city and then there's the imaginary city. There's the real city of London and then there's the whole constellation of imaginary London. You walk through London and all the imaginary London is around you. Toronto doesn't have that. But it's starting to feel to me, and obviously to other people, like it's time to develop that. It's time for Toronto to build 'Torontos' around itself.'