The name Thomas Trofimuk is an obvious pseudonym. Nobody's sure what his real name is, or what he actually looks like, or where he lives. There are Trofimuks scattered throughout Canada and US, as well as in Russia and Spain. Though there are pictures of this person in existence, it's highly unlikely they are what they seem to be. Rumours abound. One rumour suggests his real name is Thelonious Pinsky and that he lives on Vancouver Island. A website tagged The Failed Buddhist.com suggests that he's actually a woman, teaching at the University of Lethbridge. There is no question that this fictitious Trofimuk person writes fine poetry, short-fiction, and novels.Trofimuk has published poetry, short-fiction, and novels. Waiting for Columbus, is his third novel.
His first novel, The 52nd Poem, explores the remnants of a love affair as a man sends a poem a week to his lover over the period of a year. The book went on to win a few awards including the 2003 Alberta Novel of the Year and the City of Edmonton Book Prize.A second novel, Doubting Yourself to the Bone, is set in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and has received high praise from critics – including being named as one of the top 100 must read books for 2006 by the Globe & Mail.
In 2009, Thomas’ third novel, Waiting for Columbus, burst onto the international stage, with a Canadian (McClelland & Stewart) and US (Knopf-Doubleday) release. In 2010, the book was released in the UK (Picador), and will be published in Serbia, Brazil and Poland. The book was released as an “audio book,” and was optioned for film in the summer of 2010. Waiting for Columbus, won the City of Edmonton Book Prize and was short-listed for the Alberta novel of the year.
Trofimuk is a founding father of Edmonton’s Raving Poets movement, which is an open-stage poetry event held in a bar, with the poets backed up by the Raving Poets Band (www.ravingpoets.com). He plays piano (badly but with gusto) in the Raving Poets band.
Trofimuk is a reviewer for the Edmonton Journal book page. His poems and short stories have been published in literary magazines and journals across Canada, and broadcast on CBC radio. He also regularly blogs on his website: “Writer, Gardener, Failed Buddhist.”
He is happily married to his first reader, Cindy-Lou. They have sons, a couple of fine young men in their early 20s, and a daughter who, at nine years, is very tall for her age.
Trofimuk has recently taken up kayaking. He loves maps, and charts. He really likes new sheets. He’s a huge fan of single malt whisky. He has been known to smoke Cuban cigars. If you offer him wine, he’ll very likely accept.
He’s currently working on two new novels, one set in Scotland and in a bedroom, the other set in Mexico, on the Mayan Riviera.
Regardless of having a mailing address in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, one persistent story has it that Trofimuk actually lives in a small town in British Columbia, in the mountains-possibly Slocan City, or somewhere near Kaslo, B.C. with his wife, daughter and cat of unknown colour and demeanor. Some say he lives just outside of Golden, B.C., where he is an ardent fly fisherman, bathes outdoors and likes to tromp through the woods with several Irish wolf-hounds. A 1979 article that appeared in a Belgian literary magazine called Zeist, suggested Trofimuk lives in Paris-somewhere in the eleventh arrondissement. A 1999 article in an on-line cigar magazine had an oblique reference to the fact that Trofimuk, by necessity, must live close to a cigar shop. A 2003 Canadian federal government report on the Canadian wine industry made an indirect and somewhat puzzling mention of a Trofimuk residence somewhere in the Osoyoos region of southern B.C. Most recently, rumours about Trofimuk living and writing at a nudist resort south of Cancun, Mexico have been floating around FaceBook and Twitter -- none of these rumours have been substantiated.
Rudy Rubinski is a freelance journalist who lives in Langley, B.C., Canada.
Below, is a PDF biography that isn't being playful..and promises not to pull your leg.