“If Wayne Grady’s brain ever has a yard sale,” Matt Cohen once wrote, “it would need a lot of sidewalk.” Wayne is a prolific writer, translator, journalist, and editor, with an enduring interest in the world around us. His fourteen books include The Dinosaur Project, The Quiet Limit of the World, The Bone Museum, Tree, co-authored with David Suzuki, Bringing Back the Dodo and The Great Lakes. He has been nominated for four Governor-General’s Awards, and has won three Science in Society Awards, as well as the 2008 National Outdoor Book Award in the United States.
An inspired translator of some of Canada’s most important Québecois writers, including Daniel Poliquin, Dany Laferrière, Yves Beauchemin, and Antonine Maillet, Wayne won the 1989 Governor-General’s Award for his translation of Maillet’s On the Eighth Day, and the John Glassco Prize for Literary Translation for her children’s novel Christopher Cartier of Hazelnut.
His latest book, Breakfast at the Exit Café, co-written with his wife, Kingston WritersFest Artistic Director Merilyn Simonds, tells the story of their journey by car from British Columbia around the rim of the United States. For Wayne, whose forebears were slaves who came to Canada in the 1880s, this is a journey through fear, racism, and violence into his own family roots. Part travelogue and part exploration, Breakfast at the Exit Café is a deeply thoughtful and often rollicking road trip into the reality behind the cultural myth that is America.
Photo credit: Denton