Beginner's pluck: Erik Beck Rubin

Erik got into writing through his passion for reading.

“I wrote for the university newspaper, then started writing the stories that weren’t there for me to read.”

An amateur pianist, Erik gained his love of classical music from his father.

“And I had an amazing piano teacher. As a teen, music became something of my own.”

For the last decade, Erik has been lecturing in Cultural History at the University of Waterloo, School of Architecture.

“I teach different periods. At the moment it’s modernism, and I teach a specialist course in Monuments and Memorials.”

Who is Erik Beck Rubin

Date/place of birth: August 9, 1979/Toronto.

Education: Earl Haig High School. University of Toronto; South Asian studies. McGill University, Montreal; Masters in Architectural History. Goldsmith College, London: PhD. English and comparative literature, 2006 - 2009. “That was where I started writing the novel.”

Home: Toronto.

Family: Wife, Anya, an architect.

The Day Job: Professor of Architecture and Design.

Interests: “I love baseball, and right now the Toronto team is enjoying a renaissance. I play music, and a friend and I cook and take on outrageous recipes.”

Favourite Writers: “It changes. The last books I’ve enjoyed are by Heinrich Boll; Dominique Fabre; Marguerite Yourcenar; Muriel Spark, and Hajin Yoo.”

Second Novel: “It’s about twin brothers who are not alike, but who live out the 20th century side by side. I’m 100 pages in.”

Top Tip: “You have to express yourself clearly. I marry myself to the story, divorce myself from it, and marry it again.”

Twitter: @ErikBeckRubin

The Debut

School of Velocity; One, €14.81

Jan is a classical pianist who is struggling with his health. He hears noises in his ears, and extensive medical tests have failed to find a reason. He’s about to go on stage to play a solo but is terrified that the noises he hears will sabotage his performance.

He looks back to his closest ever friendship with Dirk — a magnetic star in the making. However, has he misunderstood all that the relationship stood for?

“I like to remember old friends for the potential they had. So many, particularly the shooting stars, failed to reach it.”

The Verdict: I adored this debut. It’s a fascinating dissection of the power of friendship.


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