This week on The Chat, we’re in conversation with Toronto novelist Grace O’Connell. In Be Ready for the Lightning, her second book, we meet Vancouverite Veda and follow her relationship with her troubled brother Conrad and their group of childhood friends. Caught as a bystander on a hijacking on a New York City bus, Veda is forced to re-evaluate her past.
Writing in The Toronto Star, Robert Wiersema says Be Ready for the Lightning is “a novel of stunning beauty and impact, its revelations and realizations are startling, hard-earned and realistic."
Grace O’Connell is the author of Magnified World, a Globe and Mail Best Book and she was the 2014 winner of the Canadian Authors Association Emerging Writer Award. She holds an MFA in creative writing, and her work has appeared in various publications including The Walrus, Taddle Creek, The Globe and Mail, National Post and Elle.
1. The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood: Think your job is dull? Marian's job has to do with beer and food and is still somehow boring. She writes and edits surveys to measure consumer satisfaction in an office that makes Dunder Mifflin look cosmopolitan, and even has to go door to door asking creepy men how much beer they drink. Between her office happily ascribing to a virgin/whore dichotomy and weirdos pressing temperance brochures into her hands, it's pretty crappy.
2. Microserfs by Douglas Coupland: Sometimes a bad job is a matter of opinion. Some of the characters in Microserfs love their ninety-hour work weeks, some hate them. Desperate for approval from a God-like Bill Gates, one character locks himself in his office, eating only food that can be slipped under the door. Work-life balance is not a popular phrase in this office.
3. Gh …