Monday, July 28, 2008
Though it may be poor form to weigh in on this, as Nigel is obviously completely at his liberty to dislike this book, a few of his criticism were, I think, at the very least debatable. I think he misses the point on the discussion of Ian McEwan; it was the British who were responsible the interest in Robert Bolano (beating American publishers to the punch by a few years); it's pretty well documented that American interest in Latin American writing has been rather stagnate for quite some time (this is one of the reasons why a press like Biblioasis can afford to go after some of the best Latin American writers in the world: there's just not that many places, on either side of the Atlantic, interested in bringing Moya and company into english); good fiction may not be produced with foreign rights sales in mind, but a lot of the fiction agented by the big rep houses is; I could go on ... but ...
Thankfully, not all the coverage this weekend was quite so negative: the second review was by Alex Good in the Guelph Mercury. Here's the gist of this short capsule:
Friday, July 25, 2008
It can be found here:
Thursday, July 24, 2008
The Fourth Annual
2005 - Patricia Young, Airstream. (short fiction)
2006 - Kathleen Winter, boYs (short fiction)
2007 - Rebecca Rosenblum, Once (short fiction)
This year's winner will receive:
- a publishing contract with BIBLIOASIS
- a leather-bound copy of their book
- a $1,500 cash prize, presented by Steven Temple Books
- a regional book tour, including festival appearances
- a profile in The New Quarterly
- THE OBJECTIVE of the competition is to uphold and celebrate the tradition of small press publishing and independent bookselling in Canada, and to champion the writing of new and up-and-coming Canadian writers.
- THE COMPETITION is open to all Canadian writers with an unpublished book-length manuscript of short or novel-length fiction. Manuscripts must be titled, typed, double-spaced and unstapled. The author’s name should not appear on the manuscript. All entries must be accompanied by a separate page containing the contestant’s full name, mailing address, telephone number, email address (optional), manuscript title, and brief bio (which should include a list of all previously published or forthcoming works). Manuscripts will not be returned.
- SUBMISSIONS must be postmarked no later than September 30, 2008. A shortlist will be announced at the beginning of November. The winning manuscript will be announced November 30 with publication of the work in 2009.
P.O. Box 92
Emeryville, ON N0R 1C0
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
In honour and anticipation of Joshua Glenn's and Mark Kingwell's Idler's Glossary -- the Devil's dictionary for the Idling classes -- I've begun a new blog of all things idle which can be found here:
There will be a good deal of regular action on this blog, so check in at least (ir)regularly. And make sure to do it on your boss's dime. The first post offers a link to a Washington Post article on Karoshi, proof that work will kill you.
There's also a Royal Order of the Indolent Facebook page for those who loaf there regularly.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Over at her blog Rose Coloured, Rebecca Rosenblum has some interesting thoughts on proofing her upcoming collection, ONCE.
I am now in possession of the final page proofs of Once, along with an absurdly lovely Advanced Reading Copy. I was really thrilled to get this stuff, waiting to see what the copy-edit looked like and HOLD A BOUND BOOK IN MY HANDS, and yet as soon as it arrived, I felt a strange sensation of doom.
Why? The pages are gorgeous, the copy-edit thorough and sensitive. As someone who has worked for several years in book production, I not only knew ahead of time what to expect, I have made several resolutions over the years as to how I would behave.
Her whole post can be found here:
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Mike Barnes's 2006 collection of poetry A Thaw Foretold has been reviewed on the McNally Robinson blog, as well as on Todd Swift's UK site EYEWEAR. It's a good, thoughtful review, and one of the few, unfortunately, this damn fine book has received. It's also one of our most beautifully produced, the cover letter pressed on a St. Armand handmade stock. And one of our scarcest to boot, as Canada Post destroyed at least half of the print run in transit. But there are still copies available, either on the website, directly, through amazon, indigo, or via special order through your favourite independent.
Here's a brief quote from the review:
The poems in the collection don’t all fit perfectly but most do, engaging and challenging in equal measure, many of the poems demanding a second and further readings, bringing the reader back time and again to flick through the pages and join the poet on his journey through shared emotional seasons.
The full review can be found here:
Mike Barnes's latest book, The Lily Pond: A Memoir of Madness, Memory, Myth and Metamorphosis, is in the final stages of production. A memoir of his more than thirty year battle with bi-polar disorder, it's one of the most intelligent, moving, beautiful, and horrifying treatments of mental illness I've read (having a tendency to wallow in the dark waters myself from time to time, I've read a lot of them). You'll be hearing a lot more about The Lily Pond, here and elsewhere, as the launch date approaches.
Monday, July 07, 2008
Canadian Charles Foran, a one-time resident of Hong Kong, has just had published a collection of essays under the title Join the Revolution, Comrade, covering life on three continents and spanning topics from China to Cervantes.
In a world where "page-turner" is often seen as the ultimate accolade for a book, collections of essays aren't for everyone. Essays don't, by and large, propel the reader from chapter to chapter but instead induce pauses for reflection.
But Join the Revolution, Comrade isn't merely a book for savoring, although it is that. The complaints that Western writers don't make an effort to understand Asia and its cultural subtleties are possibly partly based either in a lack of awareness of those writers like Foran who can move seamlessly from Tariq Ali to Lu Xun to Yeats - or also, perhaps, in a certain unwillingness to read books whose pages don't turn by themselves.
The whole review can be found here:www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?pp_cat=15&art_id=67920&sid=19595292&con_type=1
The second review appeared in the Globe & Mail Books section this past week. Part of a group review, Foran's section begins like this:
In Join the Revolution, Comrade: Journeys and Essays, novelist Charles Foran leaves Nowhere - Toronto's Willowdale - for Somewhere - China, Thailand, Vietnam - taking us with him on a rich and reflective voyage as he skillfully navigates the clash of languages, cultures and points of view that travelling can trigger if you are wide-eyed, curious and eager to learn.
The whole review, which also includes a review of Bruce Serafin's Stardust (which I might pick up), can be found here: