Author Shani Mootoo's Valmiki's Daughter ($29.99, Toronto Women's Bookstore, 73 Harbord, 416-922-8744) just hit bookshelves. Here are her hopes for the holidays, aside from a spot on the bestsellers list, of course.
What's the best gift you've ever received?
In 2002, I got a gorgeous classical guitar (Rodriguez Caballero 11 cedar top guitar, $320, Long and McQuade, 925 Bloor West, 416-588-7886) from a friend, re-igniting a childhood desire to play.
What's the best gift you've ever given?
When I was 16, my sister was hospitalized for a month at the Great Orman Street hospital in London, England. There was a two-year-old orphaned child in her ward from Kuwait. I would pass his crib every day and he would reach out for me. I eventually bought him a plush soft doll that he clung to above all his other toys.
What's on your list this year?
I have a thing for pens, but can you believe I don't have a stylish pen for book signings? I would love to be given one - like a Pelikan Series R400 ($285, Laywine's Pens and Organizers, 25 Bellair, 416-921-7131) - that's handsome enough to make a statement by itself and can also handle the arduous and delightful task of signing book after book.