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The Chat with Carleigh Baker

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Next up on The Chat, we speak to Carleigh Baker, author of the sensational short story collection Bad Endings, a finalist for the 2017 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.

Of the collection, the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize jury said, “In Bad Endings, Carleigh Baker has created a skillfully woven tapestry of stories, centred on strong, contemporary female characters battling for agency over their own lives .… These stories are not about happy endings—they are about powerful endings, and we found them nothing short of electrifying.”

Carleigh Baker is a Cree-Métis/Icelandic writer. She was born and raised on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the Stó:lō people. Her first collection of stories, Bad Endings, won the City of Vancouver Book Award in 2017 and is a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. She won the Lush Triumphant award for short fiction in 2012, and her work has also appeared in Best Canadian Essays, and The Journey Prize Anthology. She writes book reviews for The Globe and Mail, The Literary Revi …

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My Autobiographical Novel: Nathaniel G. Moore's Shameless Giller Bait

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Nathaniel G. Moore's Savage 1986–2011 is not simply a way for its author to jump on the autobiographical-novel bandwagon, thank you very much. Nope, he's in it to win the Giller Prize. Here, he explains why, and also gives us the lowdown on the "monstrous gelatinous blob of middle-class meatloaf" that is his latest novel. 

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In 2009, Mark Medley at the National Post wrote “Nathaniel G. Moore will never, ever win the Giller Prize. He probably considers this a badge of honour.” Maybe he’s right. It was spot on enough that I wasn’t nominated in 2010, and The Walrus favourited or tweeted the Giller punch line the day the piece came out. Medley continued by describing me as “a writer so far removed from the CanLit conversation that he might as well be writing in another language.” The point of the piece however, was, from what I can surmise, that I was and am satisfied living as a big fish in a tiny small-press pond. But what if he is wrong and I truly am trying to win the Giller Prize each time I put publishers through what I put publishers through? So comes Savage 1986–2011, my first book in four years and what I can honestly say is my best work.

Hooray; now do I win?

Savage 1986–2011 is about a Toronto family coming to terms with its implosion. It …

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In Conversation With: Tony Burgess

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A few weeks ago, I was sitting on a patio when a gentleman, back lit by an early-summer sun, approached my table to boast that he recognized me from the back of my head. I shaded my eyes, Tony Burgess coming into view. "I recognize you from the front of your head," I (may have) replied, and he settled in with us for the duration of our stay. I quite liked his company. My only other dealings with Tony have come in late hours in the form of Facebook messages that read like non sequiturs. He's a prolific creator across genre and form, a master at drawing discomfort from the reader and one of the more truly interesting characters you'll have the pleasure to meet.

For my first interview as Host of Canadian Bookshelf, I hope you'll enjoy our get-to-know-you banter. I guess it's true that books really are the social object around which readers converse.

Julie Wilson: A friend recently told me of a dating site in which members are asked, alongside other questions, how they feel about horror films. Seems this is a huge signifier in terms of compatibility between prospective mates. Come to think of it, the first time I saw you from afar you were covered in fake blood at the opening party for The Scream in High Park. What's your relationship to violence and gore? Are you les …

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