Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Poop and Bumfuggery

Part I: Bumfugging

So "Poop and Bumfuggery" is perhaps not the best title for a post about two really very lovely reviews that have come in over the past several days, but I had to do something to win back your love. Poor Thirsty! So content-parched—so dry—so, yes, so constipated of late. But no more! The gates have flexed, the skies openeth, and content shall be, let's say, regular, from this point forward. (Which is not to imply that good reviews are the Metamucil of publicity blogs: heavens. That would be taking the metaphor too far.) 

Er. Anyhow and bibliobowels aside, readers of the Star will have noticed that Malarky got another ace review courtesy of Georgie Binks. It commences: "When the kids leave home and you’re left talking to yourself day in and day out, it’s comforting to let someone else’s inner monologue take over your brain." 



Even better, perhaps, is the pull quote: "A fascinating voyage into the mind of a woman embattled ... absolutely beautiful."— (Those of you who have read Malarky will know where the bumfuggery comes in.) And for the full review you can of course click here

Part II: Poop

This post's colonic trajectory is owed in part to a review that came in this morning from momosyllabic, which is the blog of a mother, a self-confessed scatologist, and a friend of Alice Petersen. I'm not sure Alice is going to be super-thrilled about me spreading the word even further—sticking my virtual heels in it I guess—but, thanks to momosyllabic, there's a now an oh-bollocks-sitting-in-poop story circulating about her on the internet. Yup. Happily the review that goes with it is pretty swell: 

[All the Voices Cry] presents characters humbled by circumstance ... These women are fantastically ambivalent even as Alice has them experience the most profound emotional moments in human life .... There are fantastic words evoking far-flung locales ... Alice Petersen’s plots move with a quick, light foot through the most embattled terrain of human relationships.

What's that? The book is fantastic? Yep. In fact it's fantastic twice over. Adjectivally and adverbially fantastic. And as for the poop story, well, you can go roll in that sh!t on your own time. (Myself I'm a fan of any review that can get poop, Keats, and the word "plangent" within two sentences of one another.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Write the Book, Bake the But

Yesterday the 201st prompt on Write the Book came from our own Douglas Glover. Who doesn't love a well-constructed but? If anyone's done the prompt and is happy with the results you should send them to us. We can make a but-book. 
This, believe it or not, is a construction butt CAKE.
Photo courtesy of cakeswebake.com.
Award-winning Canadian author Douglas Glover, on his latest book: a collection of essays on writing, Attack of the Copula Spiders, published by Biblioasis.
Today's Write The Book Prompt is to write what Douglas Glover playfully calls "a but-construction." In his new book, ATTACK OF THE COPULA SPIDERS, he writes: "Imagine any simple declarative sentence, and add the word but to the end." The example Douglas offers is: "The barn was red, but..." Now keep writing. See what complexity you might be able to introduce to this sentence, or another of your own devising, simply by adding the word "but." As he explains in the book, "I wrote the word 'but' and then had to write something else; the blank space demands completeness. I had no idea what I might put in there before I wrote the words. The result is pure invention, discovery, and rather fun."

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hooray for ... Amazon?

Penthesilia, daughter of
Ares and Orithia,
as slain by Achilles.
Well it's not often that an indie press has cause to sing praises for the Penthesilia of online book retail, but the editors at Amazon.ca were good to us this weekend, and have selected Malarky as a Best Book of the Year in both the Canadian Fiction and the Literature and Fiction categories. Congratulations to Malarky (which is, she modestly points out, one of only three titles in either category to have a five-star ranking)!

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Festival Series with Claire Tacon

In homage--oh God, is it already here?--to festival season, our indefatigable friends at Open Book Ontario have commenced a series of interviews on what these events mean to the people who attend them. They've just posted a Q&A with our very own Claire Tacon, who was recently at the Ottawa Writers' Festival. If you get a second, take a look! (And then, erm, try to take your naps now, because fall is just around the corner. Yipes.)

Friday, July 06, 2012

The Vancouver Sun on Mike Barnes

"David Sedaris and Douglas Coupland have recently written wry modern takes on the fable," remarks Brett Josef Grubisic for the Vancouver Sun, "but with The Reasonable Ogre, Mike Barnes whirls together strands of vintage literary DNA — from Aesop, Poe, Perrault, [to] O. Henry ... — with his own light-and-dark sensibility. The result? An entertaining and alluring volume with appeal for adults and children alike."

Check out the Vancouver Sun this Saturday for the rest of the review, which also features Heather Birrell's Mad Hope.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Alice Petersen's Short Story Playlist

Morning, all, and a happy fifth of July. Wanted to take a moment and point your digital eyeballs to the guest post Alice has done for Kerry Clare over on the 49th Shelf. It's a fun exercise--which Canadian stories have stayed with you, and why?--though it's hard to imagine better picks than some of hers. (Hey, Alice! Which Canadian short stories have made it all the way to New Zealand with you this summer?)   

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Our Woman's Bay Area Vacation

Morning, all, and happy Monday. It was a good long weekend of good short reviews for Malarky, with Northern California showing the love: click on to read what the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Book Review had to say. Or you can even--what the heck--keep reading RIGHT HERE. Quoth the Chronicle:
Malarky becomes truly compelling when Our Woman embodies an existential strangeness. In certain moments, we are not so far from Beckett's Molloy - Our Woman comes close to enlivening not only the political and the personal but also the human. Schofield has true promise for this kind of writing, and it is there that I hope she next turns her sizable gifts, in the book that will surely follow this resoundingly successful first novel.
Hear that, Phil? It's not every character that holds her own against the Irish greats. Move over, Molly; make way, Molloy; mind yerself, Maud Gonne? Thanks to Mr. Esposito of Quarterly Conversation for that piece (and thanks, too, to Pax Plena for his sizable blog post this weekend).  

In other news, those of you waiting to read Three Percent's review of Liliana Heker, it's up and available now. Long and lovely treatment of the text. More on that soon from our translation series blog.