Writer, Editor Terse
“I’m going to read and write and one day I’m going to die. There are no regrets there; that is a complete life to me.”
For those who are anticipating the apocalypse, Ben Ghan insists it has already happened.
“Apocalypse doesn’t only mean the end of the world. In critical theory, it can also be the end of a mode of being or phase of life, like puberty or graduating college. Life after trauma is an apocalypse, just as life after a relationship or life after the loss of a friend.”
This theme is at the forefront of Ben’s newly published novel, What We See in The Smoke. Based in Toronto, the seventeen chapters weave themselves through space and time in exploration of change and memory. “Toronto is a city that changes really fast, and not always with the most forethought or ability to remember. The novel is about people seeking connection in a world where humans are being commodified.”
Ben himself remembers a childhood filled with reading and creative expression. “My first attempt at writing a book was when I was four.”
Part of his passion stems from him being hard of hearing. “Being almost completely deaf in my right ear, there was something about reading that made books easier for me to lose myself into. As a little kid, books were silence and I loved them.”
While involving himself in the University of Toronto’s literary community in his undergraduate degree, Ben was inspired by reading and being surrounded by people with similar passions.
But, passion is not all it takes. Ben anticipated rejection, and received much of it before his book was published by Crowsnest Books. “Rejections should be in the hundreds before you give up.”
For Ben, writing is a necessity. “There is nothing special about me. I did nothing exceptional or magical. I did the work I needed to do and was very lucky, and I was very fortunate that people helped me as much as they did.”
Passion brings out the beauty of the individual, Ben believes, and he is all in. “I’m going to read and write and one day I’m going to die. There are no regrets there; that is a complete life to me.”
Ben is proud to be represented as a Canadian Jewish author so that his readers can connect and relate to him and his representation in fiction. “If there is a young Jewish person who picks up my work and sees something in it that inspires them or helps them connect with me through those pages, then I’m thrilled. Then, I’ve accomplished something that not many other mediums can.”
RANDOM RAPID FIRE WITH BEN
1. Night owl or early bird
2. Spider-Man or Superman
3. Tattoo or Piercing
4. Useless talent? I can wiggle my ears.
5. Last book you read? The Fifth Season by NK Jemson, The Tiger Flu by Larissa Lai
Ben Ghan is a young writer in Toronto. He currently works as a prose editor for Terse, an online journal, and will be pursuing a Master’s of English at Ryerson University in the Fall. You can learn more about his book here, and order it on Amazon.
Check out Ben’s website at:
Links to Ben’s books: