Here’s a few photographs I took of Jack Hodgins last week for an interview that ran in the Oak Bay News. I hadn’t seen Jack in a couple of years so it was great to have a few minutes to chat. His latest novel The Master Of Happy Endings is just out.
Here’s a few photographs I took of Jack Hodgins last week for an interview that ran in the Oak Bay News. I hadn’t seen Jack in a couple of years so it was great to have a few minutes to chat. His latest novel The Master Of Happy Endings is just out.
Out to Sidney on a wet Friday night to take in one of the Sidney Reading Series events at the Red Brick Cafe on Beacon Avenue. Writer MAC Farrant hosted the event with readings from Vancouver novelist Mary Novik and Susan Musgrave, best known as a poet but who is also a novelist, essayist and columnist. Musgrave, a long time resident of the greater Victoria area now spends much of her time in Haida Gwaii.
Books for sale from both writers
MC and writer MAC Farrant
The ever helpful Rachel at Nightwood Editions had sent me a number of their latest books and I thought it was about time I brought them to your attention. Four poetry volumes and one novel for you to check out. Great also to read on their site the news (that I had completely missed) that Brad Cran is now Vancouver’s new poet laureate.
‘god of missed connections’ is Elizabeth Bachinsky’s third book of poems.
‘The Book Collector’ from Tim Bowling. An amazing looking cover.
Novelist and poet Laisha Rosnau with her new book of poems ‘lousy explorers’
The latest from Metis poet Gregory Scofield ‘Kipocihkan’. Kipocihkan is a Cree slang for someone who is unable to talk, a mute.
From Andrew Binks, his first novel ‘the Summer Between’
Cat George finished her last shift as a journalist on Friday March 13 and tomorrow, Monday March 15, she starts work on her first novel.
LP: You’re writing a first book and at the same time a blog about that experience. Doesn’t that put a lot of pressure on you as a writer?
CG: Yes, I suppose – but I think that’s a good thing. If I’m just at home writing in a vacuum, I think there might be – for me at least – the feeling
that I can let myself off the hook, not work for a few days if I’m feeling a little blocked, just do other things. By inviting people to follow along
with me, keeping them up to date, I’ll know that someone’s keeping an eye on my progress and my work. Kind of like appointing the Internet readership as
my boss; I’m accountable to them.
LP: What can you tell us about the book, is it a novel, non – fiction, what is it about? Have you done any actual writing work on it already?
CG: It’s a novel; the idea comes from a short story I did a few years ago, during my BFA in Creative Writing at UBC. I’d been tinkering with reworking the story for a while and then suddenly realized it just couldn’t work as a short story because there was too much there. I’ve got a big outline, about15 pages, and a few pages worth of scenes written out. I’ve been jumping to get going for a bit now but decided I would hold off and commit to actually start writing on March 16, to treat it as if I was starting a new job. It’s about an older woman – she’s 75 – who’s volunteering in a museum that ends up featuring an exhibit that’s right out of her own childhood. She realizes that what the museum is presenting as history doesn’t mesh with what she remembers as happening, and from there it deals with her trying to determine how the past has shifted on her. That part of the book takes place in 1985.
The other part of the book, her memories of her teenage years, take place in the 1920s.
LP: What happens if it takes more than your self imposed deadline of a year to finish?
CG: Well, at this point I’m still optimistic, so I might have to come back to that question eight months from now with a better sense of whether that’s
how things will go. I like deadlines, I work better with them, so I knew I’d need to set one and a year was a nice, round choice. If it turns out that on
March 16, 2010, I haven’t finished a complete book, but that I’m well on the way to the finish, I’m not going to be too upset; I’ll just have to find some more
time and complete it, I guess. Financially it would be better if I was done within a year.
LP: Why a book, why now? You’re leaving a full time reporter job to do this. Isn’t that huge risk?
CG: Certainly I’ve heard that from other people; but, actually, I think that this was the time when it had to be done. I don’t have any kids, I don’t
have a mortgage, I’m pretty much finished with my student-loan debt from my school days; I’m not risking anybody else’s future or major financial havoc
by choosing to do this. I’ve been saying I’d write a book since I was 15 and the one element I’ve always felt holding me back is that I just didn’t have
the time. So I made the decision about a year ago that I would make the time, and that I would do that by setting aside money and then giving myself
a year for the project. I didn’t want to look back two decades from now and think, I could have written a novel then but I wasn’t willing to take the
risk. I want to look back two decades from now and think, good job on that first novel.
LP: Where can readers follow your writing adventures?
CG: I’m online at www.oneyearbook.wordpress.com.
Ilana Stanger-Ross launched her first novel Sima’s Undergarments For Women, published by Penguin, at Dale’s Gallery on Fisgard Street in Victoria’s Chnatown. Book sales were so brisk that Cadboro Bay Books ran out of copies at the launch.
Ilana Stanger-Ross reads
Large crowd at Dale’s Gallery.
Cadboro Bay Book Company’s Amber Rider introduces Ilana Stanger-Ross.
Copies of Sima’s Undergarments For Woman on sale at reading.
LP: You have a novel coming out shortly? What can you tell us about it?
NM: OK, I’m not the greatest at speaking about my own books, but I’ll give this a whirl… Here’s what we came up with for the back blurb: Scrapbook of My Years as a Zealot is a narrative of longing for self-creation, but also for self-destruction, restlessly twisting and turning through triangular friendships, teenage delinquents, Nazi killing hospitals for the disabled, the inane ex-boyfriend, a dying father’s sudden conversion to parenting, and fantastic tales of the Mormon Angel Moroni on estrogen.
It’s called Scrapbook of My Years as a Zealot, partly because I liked the contrast between staunch zealotry and a cluttered scrapbook. But I also gave it that title to encompass the non-linear nature of the novel. The narrator goes through a childhood with European parents and indulges in her best friend’s Mormon religion as a way of feeling more North American. She ends up dating a “Jack” Mormon because, like her, he knows what it’s like to be involved with the church but also to leave it. As a grownup, she works with delinquent teenagers; and she has a complicated relationship with her mother, an atheist, and with two friends who never knew her as a Mormon but who find her a bit uptight because of her background. Now, everything I’ve said so far is just plot, though. Much of the book is about how the story doesn’t unfold from A to Z, but that scenes from different timelines appear next to each other. She tells the entire story, but still manages to present versions of what’s happening with other characters. So, for example, she longs to be closer to her mother, but only tries to get her mother to understand her; meanwhile, her mother has a tragic secret from which she wishes to shield her daughter. How characters related to each other, what they do or do not tell each other, was the focus of many of the scenes. On the one hand, I’m fascinated by religion and how believers fit themselves into the “rules” of their faith; on the other hand, I’m in love with the kind of language that accompanies wonder and obsession.
LP: This is your second novel. What changes did you notice in writing the second as compared to the first?
NM: When I wrote Yellow Pages, I couldn’t believe how much of the “story” I had to leave out, in order to properly get that story onto the page. For this novel, I used the idea of surreptitious lives and past secrets to put pressure on the idea that you can ever tell the “entire” story. In my first novel, I was trying to “expose” Alexander Graham Bell as the antagonist of Deaf culture. At the same time, I was gripped by the language of how one can try to tell a non-verbal story. So one of the biggest changes in Scrapbook is actual dialogue tags! But even though this book wasn’t written around a historical figure, I still had to do an enormous amount of research into the 70s and 80s. I didn’t just want to drop in a Madonna song, to easily signal where (or when) readers should understand the story now is); but rather, I turned to less famous, but possibly equally relevant details. So, for example, I mention Eddie the Eagle in one chapter. Partly to remind readers about the time of the 1988 Calgary Olympics, but also because he’s a figure that really captured Canadian’s hearts when he participated in the ski jump. Not because he won (and not even, I think, because he came last), but because he took on the spirit of competition for the sake of the sport, not the result.
LP: Much of your career has been devoted to poetry. Is there a big shift for you, in terms of writing, to go from poems to a novel?
NM: More like a constant shift! I’ve been alternating poetry and fiction since I started writing (and now squeeze in essays and formal talks and even a few web write-ups). And then when I do write a book in particular genre (I’m thinking of my first novel, Yellow Pages), readers claim it’s prose poetry (or that my poetry is narrative). But I hear your question: it is, always a shift to move between the kind of writing that develops characters or sets a scene or emotion to the kind of writing that zings the senses without necessarily presenting a story. I love how poetry can work at a dozen levels at once, prick the readers’ ears and sight and intellect. But I also love how fiction can get readers caught up in the narrative push, in the dynamics between characters and conflict and the materiality of the word and story. I guess I find it hard to settle in any one genre because I’m so passionate about all genres as a reader. I’m the type of reader who has several books going at once. I’ll read a poem for a while, then turn to a short story, and then delve into a literary essay. And then, of course, dive right into a film!
LP: You grew up in Calgary, and until very recently, were teaching at the University of Calgary. You’re now at the University of Windsor. As a writer what are the differences between the two cities/regions?
NM: I’ve been in southern Ontario now for two and a half years, and I seriously am still getting used to a different way of thinking. Not worse or better, but definitely different. For one thing, Windsor is across the river from Detroit, which not only makes it a border city, it also makes it a small city that is physically linked to a large city. People hear listen to US radio stations and watch US local television shows. This may not be so unusual in other parts of the country, but Calgary – despite being represented often as a pro-US city – is pretty physically isolated. And there’s so much going on in the history of this city! Just last week, I had a great conversation with my Creative Writing students about setting their fiction in Windsor. I was dismayed to hear that none of them thought Windsor was “interesting” enough to hold the interest of readers not from here. Meanwhile, I’ve been taking notes like crazy every since I moved here, because most of what I’ve learned is so fascinating: the first stop in Canada on the underground railroad, the origin of Canadian Club, the place where Michigan teenagers go to drink two years before they’re legal in the US, the booze runs across the river during prohibition, etc. etc. This is a fairly working class town, and one that’s been reliant on the auto industry for most employment. Meanwhile, people here are unbelievably optimistic about the future. And teaching at the University here makes me more and more aware of how much students want to learn and how much their parents want them to get a “higher” education.
LP: You’ve just spent a summer in Vancouver. Was the decision to spend time there strictly personal or was there a connection to your writing?
NM: Both. I find that I really spend all my hours from September until May on my teaching, as do most of my colleagues across the country. So getting into another city is one of the ways to make a sharp divide between teaching or administrative work and the writing I’m always trying to get to. But I also love the West and love getting back to the kind of city where you can buy all your fruits and vegetables organic (and I’m not even a health nut!), where you can read in a coffee shop at every block, where you can walk around and not have to own a car. Just as I can’t settle on one-only genre, I can’t seem to settle in any one place, without longing to be where I’m not. When I’m in Windsor, I miss the prairies and the coast, and when I’m in Vancouver, I miss Victoria and Ontario and Montréal. I’m not satisfied, ever, but in what I hope is a generative way, that makes me pay attention to what I’m missing and why. Pay attention to the friends I get to see in the now, and to remember that when I’m no longer with them.
LP: You rented the house of a well-known poet who was away from Vancouver for the summer, did you discover any new favourite books in his bookshelves?
NM: Both Fred Wah and Pauline Butling have enough books to last my lifetime, though that didn’t stop me from also making a trip to the public library every week! I reread a lot of George Bowering while I was there, as well as quite a few other Vancouver writers, such as Roy Miki and Sharon Thesen, and more recently emerged writers such as Jacqueline Turner and Nikki Reimer. It’s funny, I was heavily focused on prose last summer (finishing Scrapbook and getting a draft done of my next novel), but spent most of my time reading poetry…
LP: At one point you had your own press, publishing poetry chapbooks. Are you still doing that?
NM: Sort of. Not the best answer, I know, but as truthful as I can be. Maintaining a chapbook press through grad school was incredibly overwhelming, and I’m happy we managed that, but once I got a permanent job, that kind of editing got constantly pushed to the side. Then, right before I left Calgary (and to commemorate Fred Wah’s retirement from UofC), I published broadside of one poem. That got me all excited about small-press publishing again, and last year I put out a card-sized poem by Chus Pato, translated by Erin Mouré. My idea now is to produce a chapbook once a year, and if I get some momentum, then maybe even increase the number to two or three a year. I adore the publishing end of writing (when it’s other people’s poetry), and miss the excitement of producing some that’s just finished. As well, it’s so hard for newer writers to get published these days, I feel that a small press offers writers (and readers) avenues that don’t need the entire publishing and marketing system behind it.
LP: Are you doing any editing these days?
NM: Besides the above newish publishing venture, and besides editing for various writers who hand me complete manuscripts, I’m doing a lot of editing of graduate students who have chosen to write a book-length manuscript for their MA thesis, and editing for the undergraduate students in my Creative Writing classes.
LP: If you were to recommend books for your students to read (aside from what’s required for their courses with you) what would they be?
NM: That’s a tricky question. Not because I don’t have an answer, but because the answer changes with every single student who asks me the question! I often give students specific books to read because of what they’re handing in, or to expand on the kind of writing they’re interested in but don’t yet have a handle on. Often students protest that they don’t want to read anything that relates to what they’re writing because they don’t want to be unduly influence! I explain to them that they’re already influenced, and what the need is a wider knowledge of their subject matter and writing impact. So: the list is infinite and specific to who’s interested in what, and why. Having said that, there are certain books I love forever, and constantly tell all sorts of people to read – such as Zsuzsi Gartner’s All the Anxious Girls on Earth, Tom King’s Green Grass, Running Water, Robert Kroetsch’s Completed Field Notes, Suzette Mayr’s Venous Hum, Rosemary Nixon’s Cock’s Egg, Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion, Aritha van Herk’s Restlessness, and Fred Wah’s Waiting for Saskatchwan.
LP: Last, the old standby, what are you reading yourself right now?
NM: That’s always the worst question because, as a Creative Writing teacher, I’m mostly reading student manuscript drafts! But the books I have on the go right now include: Sentenced to Light by Fred Wah (an amazing collection of his collaborative poetry projects), Kissing Doorknobs by Terry Hesser (a fabulous YA novel about a girl with OCD), Gerbil Mother by Dawn Bryan (an exquisitely demented “tall-tale” narrative told from the point-of-view of a nasty-spirited, foetus), a book of essays about the role of fairytales in contemporary culture, The Red Queen by Margaret Drabble, Blindsight by poet Rosemarie Waldrop, and Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, which is either a picture book or a graphic novel, depending who you talk to (I’m finding the lack of any text whatsoever deliciously troubling).
tk: I have a curious and undisciplined mind. I’m interested in the details of a place, a time, the layers that make up a particular history – geological, regional, human, natural; and how they fit together. I’m interested in long meditative lines that I somehow couldn’t make work in poetry, lines that take their inspiration from roads, the shape of hills against a wide sky, how a formation of sandhill cranes scribbles its name over Nicola Lake on a late September day. And the essay form is generous and flexible, capacious enough to hold everything that comes to mind, to heart.
LP: How do you these pieces start, do you keep detailed journals/notes?
tk: Something will agitate for my attention – a fragment of song, a building, a phrase, a moment in which I sense a particular potency. And then I follow this to wherever it might lead. Often I’m not sure exactly what it is I’m looking for but I know when I’ve found it. A name might speak from a page, a plant will appear with the most evocative family tree, or a photograph will show me a place, or a family, or a moment in history, and then I’ll get out my maps, my field-guides, and try to put something together to give a shape to what has until then been a series of notations, maybe, that I hope will accumulate until I have the critical mass that acts as a first draft. I used to keep journals but don’t any longer. I always have a notebook, though, and use it to make little cryptic notes that I have trouble deciphering afterwards.
LP: Many of the essays have history and historical events woven into them. Do you have to do much research for those pieces or that information?
tk: I am devoted to research, though as I confessed in my answer to your first question, I am not very disciplined. I think I begin with the best of intentions and am sidetracked by interesting details, like a magpie taking bright objects back to its nest. I do build my work from an accurate or actual ground, though, and think of this as a kind of anchor, or ballast. And we find ourselves in history, don’t we? We see aspects of ourselves as the past shifts slightly to accommodate our presence there. Reading letters in an archival collection, we suddenly hear our story. Or looking intently at old photographs, we see a familiar cheekbone, the ghost of a smile.
LP: While the writing in both books covers everything from travel to personal reflection ultimately they form a personal history of your family. We see your children grow etc. Any thoughts on that?
tk: Years ago I read something by Annie Dillard that has served almost as a raison d’être for me. Writing about her journals and notebooks, she said that when looking at them, she has the sense that time has not simply passed but rather it has accumulated. I think of my essays in the same way. Although they can’t be read exactly as a precise record of our lives here on the Sechelt Peninsula, they contain much of what has been significant – the shifting seasons, the passages, our pleasures, and some of the sorrows too. The other day John and I were walking over by Ruby Creek and we saw the dark forms of fish in the water. These are one of only two known fall-spawning populations of cutthroat trout on the Coast. One year our older son conducted a census of the spawning trout as a science fair project – he was 12 that year – and every day for about a month we’d go over to the creek after school and count fish. So of course the shadow of that boy was present at the creek the other day, the shadows of those earlier days, when we were accompanied by a dog now long dead. And that boy is now about to defend his PhD dissertation in Canadian History so how time does accumulate!
LP: The details of the natural world really jump out in the work. Do you feel particularly close to the environment/landscape?
tk: I’m enraptured by the natural world, constantly in thrall to what I find there. It’s important to me to be able to “read” the landscape, its intricate narratives. And those change, as anything changes; new versions or idioms emerge just as older ones surface too. I’ve become fascinated by the fossils of the Tranquille Shale, between Kamloops and Cache Creek, and the amazing stories that are told in those layers. Tiny pre-salmon, sequoias, maple samara: the quotidian details of a lake bed 51 million years old!
LP: A few of the essays, especially those dealing with death, The Road to Bella Coola and Phantom Limb, are intensely personal. They must have been difficult to write and possibly even more difficult for you to re-read.
tk: Language and form allow us to shape our grief and lend a formality to what might otherwise be wild and chaotic. “The Road To Bella Coola” has as its epigraph a line from a poem by Stanley Kunitz: “How shall the heart be reconciled to its feast of losses?” That’s the central paradox, isn’t it? That we are nourished in some deep way by the rituals and ceremonies associated with death. It’s the way human beings can attend their dead with respect and dignity.
LP: You also write about the loss of things, Erasing The Maps (places) and Autumn Coho In Haskins Creek (salmon) are two that come to mind. Do you think writing is a way to make sure those things don’t disappear completely?
tk: Writing is an act of commemoration. Think of what we know because someone has written it down! So I try to pay an attention to what matters to me and to explore it, adore it, praise it. And sometimes that attention takes the form of elegy, I suppose, or threnody. It conspires to remember. Memory itself is such a complicated entity. I’ve been reading Cicero with reference to his Method of Loci and am intrigued by his system for the ordering of memory. In some ways I think of my work in this way — the attachment of a particular body of imagery to a specific locus as a way of remembering.
LP: Are the essays something you work on all the time or do you write a series all at once?
tk: I’ve always written essays along with other things. While working on a novel, I might find myself wanting to explore something that I’ve come across in research or on a trip or as a result of reading or some unresolved personal issue. It’s a wonderful luxury to break away from an extended work, a novel, to write an essay. (I’m reminded of the pleasure of taking an unexpected side-road while travelling!) I usually have several in various stages of completion and some of them never really find their true shape, remaining as drafts for years. Working with an editor tends to help me identify particular thematic connections and so I’ll shape a manuscript by concentrating on a specific group of pieces, leaving others out. I’m currently at work on a book-length series of connected essays. Right now each one is discrete, devoted to a particular set of materials. When I’ve finished the whole series, I may in fact decide to create a kind of connective tissue to draw them together into a single body. I’m not sure yet and don’t want to second guess not only myself but the material I’m immersed in by predicting the final form this work will take.
LP: You’ve had several books of poetry (six) and two novels published. Can we look forward to a new book in either of those genres soon?
tk: I’ve recently completed a novel, The Age of Water Lilies, which I hope will be published next year. It’s set partly in the community of Walhachin on the Thompson River just before the Great War and partly in Victoria in the years just after. And I’m at work on a memoir called Mnemonic: A Book of Trees. I’d love to write poetry again but haven’t been able to find that voice, that concentrated sense of language, for some years.
LP: You operate High Ground Press with your husband, the poet John Pass. Can you tell us about that endeavor?
tk: John and I bought a late 19th c. Chandler and Price platen press in 1980 and we use it to print mostly poetry broadsides. This is letterpress printing in which we hand-set the work and then print in very limited editions. We’re presently working our third series of broadsheets; this one we call the Companions Series. We’ve asked a number of Canadian poets to respond to another poem – preferably one for which we don’t need to get permission to reprint – and we print the two poems on a single sheet. So far we’ve printed work by Bill New (responding to John Clare), Maleea Acker and Wallace Stevens, Sue Wheeler and Don McKay, Joe Denham and John Thompson, a version I did of a recently discovered poem by Sappho, George McWhirter and John Donne, Russell Thornton’s bow to Juan Ramon Jimenez, and John is just setting Chris Patton’s response to a passage of Ezra Pound. Several more are planned for this series. We’ve also printed a couple of chapbooks over the years as well as ephemera – Christmas cards, keepsakes for the Alcuin Society Wayzgoose, etc. To be honest, John does most of the work because when we began to learn to print, we had a baby, quickly followed by two more, so he was able to go out to the print shop – it’s a building of its own, away from the house – more than I could. But we plan the projects together and design them together and I think we both see the work as a congenial adjunct to our writing lives.
LP: Did you ever buy yourself a pair of red Laredo boots?
tk: I did. A few months after I’d written the title essay for Red Laredo Boots, I sold a different essay to the Vancouver Sun. The payment was exactly the price of those boots. So the next time I was in the Nicola Valley, I went to the Quilchena Store and bought them. I still love them. There was never any discussion of an author shot for that book. The boots went to Vancouver for their own photo shoot, packed in their box with a coyote yipping at the moon, and came home with soft blue flannel from someone’s old shirt (maybe even Gary Fiegehen’s as he was their photographer) tucked into them to give them the demure shape they have on the back cover of the book.
Do you have the great British Columbia novel or novella stored away on your hard drive. Mother Tongue Publishing is looking for submissions. It’ll cost you $35.00 and you do have to be a resident of the province. Short List judges are Kathy Page and Karen X. Tulchinksy ( I’ve always thought it must be terribly cool to have X as your middle initial) and the final judge is the great Jack Hodgins.
See below for details.
The Search for The Great BC NOVEL or NOVELLA
Short List Judges: KATHY PAGE and KAREN X. TULCHINSKY
Final Judge: JACK HODGINS
Deadline: May 31, 2009
Entry fee – $35
GOAL: To inspire and encourage the growth and appetite for regionally based literary fiction that arises from BC landscape, history, culture, language, vision and people.
✒ Open to all writers living in British Columbia.
✒ Enter the 1st chapter ( max 30 pages) of your unpublished literary novel or novella set in British Columbia. The novel must have been completed.
✒ Include covering letter, summary (max 8 pages), short bio, name, address, ms title, phone number and email address. Ms must be double-spaced. Include SASE if you do not have email.
✒ Entries accepted or submitted for publication elsewhere are ineligible.
✒ No submissions accepted by email.
✒ No length restrictions.
✒No entries will be returned.
✒Winner and short list finalists will be notified by email (or SASE if provided). They must be able to provide full manuscript upon request.
✒ Submissions must be postmarked no later than May 31st, 2009. A short list will be announced Fall 2009. The winning ms will be announced by December 2009.
✒Publication Fall 2010.
The winner will receive:
● A publishing contract with Mother Tongue Publishing.
● $1,000 advance.
● A regional book tour.
●Write-ups in local, regional and national papers.
●Publication of the winning novel in a beautiful trade paper edition.
Mail entries to: The Great BC Novel/Novella Search
Mother Tongue Publishing, 290 Fulford-Ganges Rd.
Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 2K6
Novella info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novella
Jack Hodgins lives on Vancouver Island where, until recently, he taught fiction writing at the University of Victoria. His novels and story collections include: Spit Delaney’s Island, The Invention of the World, Innocent Cities, Broken Ground, Distance, and Damage Done by the Storm. A Passion for Narrative (a guide to writing fiction) is used in classrooms and writing groups across Canada and Australia. Hodgins’ fiction has won the Governor General’s Award, the Canada-Australia Prize, and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, amongst others. He has given readings, talks, or workshops in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and several European countries, and has taught an annual fiction workshop in Mallorca, Spain. He is the recipient of the Terasen Lifetime Achievement Award and the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence in British Columbia. www.jackhodgins.ca.
Kathy Page, who moved from the UK to BC in 2001, is the author of six novels including Alphabet short-listed for a Governor General’s award in 2005, The Story of My Face, long-listed for the Orange Prize in 2002, and the recently reissued Frankie Styne & the Silver Man. Her themes are loss, survival, and transformation: the alchemy by means of which a bad hand becomes a good chance. She is a prize-winning short-story writer as well as a novelist, has written for television and radio, and was a winner of The Traveller Writing Award. She has taught fiction writing at Universities in England, Finland, Estonia and Canada and held residencies in a variety of institutions and communities, including secondary schools, a fishing village and a men’s prison. www.KathyPage.info
Karen X. Tulchinsky lives in Vancouver and her novel, The Five Books of Moses Lapinsky, was a finalist for the Toronto Book Award and winner of The Vancouver Public Library’s ‘One Book One Vancouver 2008’. Tulchinsky’s screenplay adaptation of The Five Books of Moses Lapinsky is currently in development. Her first book, In Her Nature won the 1995 VanCity Book Prize. She is the author of Love Ruins Everything and its sequel, Love and Other Ruins. A graduate of the Canadian Film Centre, Karen is a writer on ‘The Guard’ for Global TV. She wrote an episode of ‘Robson Arms’ for CTV and co-wrote ‘Floored By Love’ for City TV’s series, ‘Stories About Love’. She is currently writing a new novel, The Shoemaker’s Daughter, set between 1941 and 1977 in Russia, Vancouver and Jerusalem. www.karenxtulchinsky.com
Jim Christy launched his new novel Nine O’Clock Gun, published by Ekstasis Editions as part of their Ekstasis Noir lineup, at Victoria’s James Joyce Bistro. The book is the fourth and final novel to feature private eye Gene Castle. Christy, a poet, novelist and essayist, is also a musician and is off to Australia for a month long tour to promote his new CD down under.
Publisher Richard Olafson and Jim Christy
A selection of Christy’s books including the newest Nine O’Clock Gun
The Trio Espresso warmed up the crowd and backed up Christy during his reading.
Jim Christy marks the passages he’ll read.
Jim Christy talking to the crowd.
Jim Christy Reads from Nine O’Clock Gun