Tuesday, May 17, 2011

On the Newsstand: CNQ

Speaking of The Globe and Mail, James Adams picked the latest issue of CNQ - #81 - as the best of the rack in his weekly round-up:

No. 81/Spring, 2011

CNQ is dedicated to exploring the alleys and roads less travelled of Canadian literature. No fawning profiles of hot authors, in other words. No reports on six-figure advances or who’s travelling to Pyongyang on behalf of PEN or what publisher is earning 70 per cent of its revenue from e-books. What matters here is the backward glance (the latest issue contains a lengthy interview with Anna Porter from 1998), the appreciation, the rumination, the memoir.

Indeed, one of the highlights of its spring edition is Marko Sijan’s frequently ribald account of his Sisyphean struggle to get his first novel published by Toronto’s defunct Gutter Press. It’s a tale of big egos and little money, delay and prevarication, self-loathing and sex, told with a refreshing and brutal frankness. Sijan’s a rogue and not necessarily a lovable one: At one point he writes that it took him two years to “refine” his novel’s 132 pages “because I was very busy teaching English as a second language and having sex with my Japanese, Korean, Brazilian and Mexican students. And smoking pot. A lot of pot.” BTW, the novel, now called Mongrel, is set to be published 12 years after Sijan first pitched it to Gutter.

So: head on down to your closest newsstand and pick up a copy. Or better yet, subscribe.

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