Writer in Residence

Writers on Donald Trump

By Nathan Whitlock

Some literary smarm and alarm to mark the occasion of the wildest, most Godwin's Law-baiting political nominating convention ever.


“Trump is a pugnacious idiot with no real understanding of how government works.” – Stephen King


“Just yesterday I was wondering if Trump studied Rob Ford as example of narcissistic clown getting away with stuff. But now the joke's over.” – Andrew Pyper


“Donald Trump is dangerous and irresponsible in how he presents himself and how he treats others. […] He prides himself on causing chaos for his own pleasure, and I shudder to think he might even come close to being elected.” – Jane Smiley


“I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.” – Tony Schwartz (ghostwriter of The Art of the Deal)


“Trump is an awful human being. But he'd only be the 4th or 5th most awful human ever elected to be President.” – Sherman Alexie


“Nothing in Trump’s platform matters. There is no policy that matters. There is no promise that matters. There is no villain, no scapegoat, that matters. If, tomorrow, he said that Canadians, not Mexicans, were rapists and drug dealers, and the wall should be built on that border, no one would blink.” – Dave Eggers


“Perhaps that’s the defining asset: a crocodilian nose for inert and preferably moribund prey. Trump can sense when an entity is no longer strong enough or lithe enough to evade predation. He did it with that white elephant, the Grand Old Party, whose salaried employers never saw him coming, even when he was there, and whose ruins he now bestrides.” – Martin Amis


“If a reality-TV starlet, continuously high on Viagra and racism, is what it takes to get American writers back into politics, let us welcome the development.” - Aleksandar Hemon


“He has the temperament of an unstable nightclub bouncer, jeers at violence when it breaks out at his rallies and wears his disdain for women and minorities with pride. God help America. God help us all.” – J.K. Rowling


“Trust me on this: guys like Trump psychologically implode when women laugh at them.” – Jeet Heer


“The only person who talks more about Trump than my son is Jeet Heer. I find myself wishing he lived next door so I could send boyo over.” – Anakana Schofield


“Trump has never offered a prepared speech. Pure crazy uncle freestyle.” - John Hodgman


“The C-minus guy who sat behind you in history and poked you with his pencil and smirked when you asked him to stop.” - Garrison Keillor


“He says anything that comes into his head – no matter how stupid and implausible – and is forever claiming not to have said things we know he did say. It’s as if he thinks it’s we who are insubstantial. And worse – that we’re stupid, and he’s invented us just for the fun of it.” - Richard Ford


"I honestly think that if you put Trump in a novel before last year, it wouldn’t work. It would seem too far-fetched. You would be accused of writing farce; you would be accused of being condescending about the American people." – Lionel Shriver


“He is who he is in reality and I am not even sure it's that interesting to find a corollary in literature for him. He is almost a literary character as he exists now.” - Jeffrey Eugenides


“The beasty is called an American Trump
Its skin is bright orange, its figure is plump;
Its fur so complex, you might get enveloped.
Its hands are, sadly, underdeveloped.”Michael Ian Black


“Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it! Please don't feel so stupid or insecure, it's not your fault.” – Donald J. Trump

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book.

Nathan Whitlock’s award-winning fiction and non-fiction has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, Toronto Life, Report on Business, Flare, Fashion, Geist, Maisonneuve, and Best Canadian Essays, and he has appeared on radio and television discussing books and culture. He is a contributing editor for Quill & Quire. He lives in Toronto with his wife and children.

You can write to Nathan throughout the month of July at writer@openbooktoronto.com