Monday, November 24, 2014

K.D. Miller's ALL SAINTS Ascends the Heavenly Spheres

This book is truly indomitable. Against the odds, it continues to rise.

Let's pause for a moment and appreciate all the good things that have happened to — and continue to happen for! — this unlikely collection of stories linked by the parishioners of All Saints, the eponymous Anglican church at the centre of the book.

Last spring it received high praise from two major papers: The Globe and Mail ("absorbing, amusing, and deeply meaningful") and The National Post ("Miller is firing on all cylinders"). In its starred Quill and Quire review, Angie Abdou compared the book to Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Good Squad, in that it "[walked] the line between novel and linked stories, reshaping each genre in the process." Publisher's Weekly wrote that Miller "has an ease of style that produces elegant turns of phrase." Finally, resoundingly, Maclean's Magazine dubbed the collection "a Canadian classic."

That was only last spring.

This fall we were thrilled to learn that All Saints had been shortlisted for The Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, one of the "big three" literary awards, with a purse of $25,000. "From the first page of All Saints," wrote the jurors, "readers know they’re in the hands of a true writer." The papers then returned to Miller, with all the enthusiasm one would expect, though the book narrowly missed selection.

Now, near the close of the season, All Saints has started appearing on all the best of the Best of 2014 lists. First Quill and Quire posted it top and centre in their December issue, tagging the book as one of Miller's "strongest books to date." Soon after, just this past weekend, The Globe and Mail included it in "The Globe 100: Best Books of 2014," where it was selected among "Our Favourite Canadian Fiction of the Year." Quote: "[All Saints is] a sharp, engaging interconnected collection of stories.... Miller, once called 'Canada’s greatest unknown writer,' deserves to be known by all."

Given the well-deserved adulation All Saints has received over the past year, it's clear Miller's recognition is increasing. What excites us most is thinking ahead to the greater heights she'll climb.

No comments: