The July 15th issue of the Winnipeg Review features Clark Blaise's The Meagre Tarmac as well as Marius Kociejowski's The Pigeon Wars of Damascus. Here's some of what the Review had to say. And as an FYI: the picture you see to your right, which ran with the Tarmac review, is the house that Blaise lived in when he was in Winnipeg from 1950-54.
Thomas Trofimuk on The Meagre Tarmac:
I’ve struggled with this review. It’s late. I’ve filed it late.You see, I’d finish writing a version of it and then looked at what I’d written the day after and realized I’d not quite captured the approach I was trying for. Or, I hadn’t quite captured the essence of the author’s stories. So I would re-write my review. I would go over my notes again, maybe re-read a couple of the stories, reflect, and then begin again ...
So, why the struggle to write this review? I think it’s because having returned to a few of Blaise’s stories twice, and a few got three readings, I found new depths, new insights, and ways of reading each time – and that’s a bit disconcerting, especially when I’m trying to nail down a particular understanding. Each time through, the stories grew in scope and consequence. Isn’t that a brilliant problem though?
Jess Woolford on Pigeon Wars:
The Pigeon Wars of Damascus is a fascinating and at times challenging book that reminds us, “We cannot feed on the picturesque alone.” As Kociejowski observes, “We go places, and automatically we edit out what we don’t like. The world is composed to the shape of our own desires. I find myself where no tourist ever goes unless it is to take the shortest route elsewhere. What are the stories here? If I can’t describe what happens here, what right have I to speak of anywhere else?”
For the rest of the reviews, click below.