In this week’s Chat, I’m in conversation with Paul Carlucci, author of the deeply compelling new short story collection A Plea for Constant Motion.
Reviewing the collection in the Toronto Star, Robert Wiersema says Carlucci “writes beautifully of ugliness, immersing the reader in the minds and hearts of characters most of us would like to avoid, or, more critically, would prefer to believe didn’t exist. It’s a perfect collection for a world which confronts us with increasing violence and ugliness every day.”
Paul Carlucci is the author of The Secret Life of Fission, which won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. His stories have been widely published, appearing in The Puritan, Little Fiction, The Malahat Review, Descant, Carousel, EVENT, and Riddle Fence, among others. A recovering transient, he now lives in Ottawa after almost ten years of roaming across Canada and abroad.
Trevor Corkum: This is a dark, moody, compassionate, and generous collection. You mention in the acknowledgements that you worked with your edit …
Research shows that most of the books we read are the result of one thing: someone we know, trust, and/or admire tells us it's great. That's why we run this series, The Recommend, where readers, writers, reviewers, bloggers, and others tell us about a book they'd recommend to a good friend ... and why.
This month, we're pleased to present the picks of authors Yaskuko Thanh (Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains), Mark-Leiren Young (The Killer Whale That Changed the World), Danila Botha (For All the Men and Some of the Women I Have Known), Melanie Martin (A Splendid Boy), and Mia Herrera (Shade).
Yasuko Thanh recommends Anosh Irani's The Parcel
Sometimes you read a book that understands you. Where you find yourself dog-earring pages that were written so truthfully or that speak to you like you’re the only one in the room that you can’t let them go. Anosh Irani’s The Parcel recounts the story of Madhu, a retired transgender sex worker living in Bombay’s red light district. The tragedy of Madhu’s life is felt in every line. Every third sentence or so I had to check my heart because the story kept stopping it.
But the power of this work goes beyond its subject matter. There is an urgency behind each word driving the narrative that makes this book m …
Last week I was thrilled to introduce readers to the new interview series I'm doing with 49th Shelf—The Chat—through a special focus on the 2015 Giller Prize finalists. The first two interviews in this series were with Anakana Schofield (Martin John) and André Alexis (Fifteen Dogs). This week I'll be interviewing Heather O'Neill (Daydreams of Angels), Samuel Archibald (Arvida), and Rachel Cusk (Outline).
From a review in the Toronto Star of Daydreams of Angels:
"O’Neill is a wondrous writer whose clean declarative sentences push the stories forward. The strength of this collection is not just the stories’ delectable absurdity but also their wisdom. O’Neill reflects on the identity of artists, who she says cannot fully live in our world, but must dwell in a place apart to nourish their imaginations."
Immediately after, let’s see. I had to sit with my head between my knees for a bit. I had eaten a lot of birthday …
The beginning of November always feels like a moment of transition, that sudden shift of time making the autumn nights come earlier, that charge to the air that brings your scarf up over your mouth, the seemingly overnight switch between pumpkin spice and eggnog ...
It’s many booksellers' favourite time of year, a thrilling month of new books read, prizes awarded, and an ever-increasing number of readers coming in to the store. Yes, the countdown to the festive season is upon us, but booksellers, no matter how busy, always have time to read. Here are a few of their recommendations for November.
"I just read The Girl Who Was Saturday Night by the author of Lullabies For Little Criminals and I will be immediately re-reading it! Yes, it was that good! Heather astonishes with her grasp of language and her ability to allow her shady characters to soar above adversity and yes, also crash as reality hits them.
I gobbled this one down with greedy delight. Nicolas and Nouschka Tremblay are trying to escape the chaos of their lives with Etienne their father, a notorious Quebecois folksinger, and they land themselves in messes of their …