Don’t miss Arno Kopecky at IFOA in the Ben McNally Travellers Series on Sunday, October 21.
IFOA: Who are you most excited to see at the Festival?
Kopecky: Junot Diaz – the pulchritude! Maybe John Ralston Saul.
IFOA: You’ve just written, sold, edited, published and launched your first book. What’s been the biggest surprise along the way?
Kopecky: That I still can’t levitate.
IFOA: You’re a world traveller. Where do you plan to go next?
Kopecky: Was going to try Pluto, but I’m not sure it’s still considered a world or just a frozen ball of gas.
IFOA: Tell us about one book that changed your life.
Kopecky: Voltaire’s Bastards, by John Ralston Saul. It opened my eyes to a lot of things, not least the tyranny of reason and the troubling historical lesson (for democracy) offered by the citizens of Renaissance Paris, who had to be forced against their will to exchange open sewers for indoor plumbing.
But the book’s greatest impact on my life happened after I gave it to my dad to read. He, a conservative Iowan corn farmer by birth and a professor of chemistry by training, i.e. a reserved man all his life, began displaying radical tendencies of the left wing persuasion. He wrapped his arm in a black bandana before going to parties, for instance, to represent the dead in Iraq. His behavior eventually got him excommunicated from the farm of his brother (a Republican), and it took years of back-door diplomacy to bring the family together again.
IFOA: Bonus question: International Festival of Authors in one word: