Owen Schalk

Owen Schalk

Owen Schalk is a fiction writer from Winnipeg, Manitoba. His primary field of study is postcolonial writing from Latin America and the Middle East.

Since he was a child, Owen has been interested in writing. His short stories have been distributed by a variety of print and online publishers, including The Paragon Press, The Anti-Languorous Project and whimperbang. Additionally, his academic work has been rewarded with a variety of scholarships and awards in Manitoba.

At the moment, Owen is seeking publication for his historical fiction novel A Touch of the Purple, which focuses on political and imperial developments in fin-de-siècle America from the perspective of a Manhattan real estate dealer.  His current novel-in-progress, A New Bad Habit, will explore the state of the post-industrial economy in the American Midwest from the perspective of a group of drug dealers, thieves, and would-be mystics.


Q: If you could travel back in time, which of the great writers would you like to meet and why?

A: Saadi Shirazi, because he witnessed so much history in the aftermath of the Mongol conquest of the Islamic states, and Nabokov, so he could teach me about chess and butterflies.


Q: What is the first book you remember reading or having read to you as a child?

A: One of my most creatively formative memories is of my grandfather gifting me his copy of A Confederacy of Dunces when I was eight or nine years old. Though at the time I was too young to understand much of it, I have valued that book (and the literature of the American South) very highly ever since.


Q: Do you have a favourite quote? (From a book, film, song, speech…)

A: ‘Between my finger and my thumb / The squat pen rests. / I’ll dig with it.’ – Seamus Heaney, ‘Digging’


Q: If you could teleport yourself anywhere, real or fictional, where would it be and why?

A: Baghdad during the height of the Abbasid Caliphate, so that I could witness the peak of the Islamic Golden Age.