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Articles by Dan

Nature of Monsters - The Lancette Review

by Dan
Fiction / July 03, 2007

More praise for Clare Clark's historical novel THE NATURE OF MONSTERS comes from Alidė Kohlhaas at the Lancette Arts Journal:

If you are someone who makes in part a living by reviewing books, it is a bit risky to state that an author is tops in a specific field because next month a new one may come along and change your mind. Still, I have absolutely no hesitation in claiming here that Clare Clark is a master of the art of historic fiction. Her latest book, The Nature of Monsters, is a breathtakingly audacious novel that, if anything, surpasses her outstanding first novel, The Great Stink. The titles alone capture the very essence of the place and the periods to which she takes us in her stories.

Alidė has also posted an interview with the author she conducted during Clare's recent visit to Toronto:

As every writer has a different way of approaching the writing of a novel, I wondered whether Clark knew in advance where the book will lead her. "My story comes out of my research. My characters come out of my research. They walk out of it. That way they come out of their time. If a book is good, the characters speak to me. They have a voice in which they speak to you. If not, you end up with Dick van Dyke and Mary Poppins."

Click here for the Lancette review of THE NATURE OF MONSTERS

Click here for Lancette interview with Clare Clark


How to Read Freud and Jung

by Dan
June 29, 2007

CBC Radio One Ideas has devoted an entire program to two books from Granta's excellent 'HOW TO READ' series. Ideas host Paul Kennedy interviews Josh Cohen, the author of HOW TO READ FREUD, and in turn David Tacey, the author of HOW TO READ JUNG, to discuss the concept of the 'unconscious' in the work of Freud and Jung.

I particularly enjoyed discovering that there is a Sigmund Freud action figure, but on a deeper level it is a truly fascinating discussion, and it is now available as a podcast from the CBC website.

Click here to listen

In fall, Ideas will also be discussing Richard Holloway's HOW TO READ THE BIBLE. Watch this space!


Fall 07 - Eclectic Closet Preview

by Dan
News / June 26, 2007

Janelle Martin has posted an extensive preview of the the adult titles coming from Raincoast in Fall 2007 on her blog Eclectic Closet.

Janelle has also previewed the new releases from Random House, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and H. B. Fenn. I'm sure there are more to come. How does she find the time?

Click here for the Eclectic Closet's Raincoast preview

Click here for all Janelle's 2007 previews


The Good Eater - The Literary Word Review

by Dan
June 26, 2007

Charlene Martel has posted a great review of THE GOOD EATER, Ron Saxen's account of his struggle to overcome an eating disorder, on her blog The Literary Word:

This book was such a moving memoir. At times I found myself blown away by certain actions, or perhaps more by his honesty and vulnerability in admitting to these things. The reader can't help but feel sense of intimacy with the author as he shares his experiences with us. Binge Eating Disorder is a disease that fills the sufferer with a deep sense of shame and I am so thankful that Ron Saxen was courageous enough to deal with that, provide this incredibly informative book on the subject and let other BED sufferers know they are not alone.


Publishing? It’s An Art Form

by Dan
Fiction / June 26, 2007

Tom McCarthy, has caused a something of a furore in the UK with an article published in The Times at the weekend:

While artists and curators still draw inspiration from writers, publishing has dumbed itself down--where the UK art market is driven by no more than 50 very well-informed collectors, every schmoe is a book buyer. The point is elitist, and possibly reactionary, but true.

Ouch. As 3AM Magazine says "All hail the New Elitism"!

Incidentally, Tom's debut novel REMAINDER was reviewed by Alex Good in Ontario newspaper The Record this weekend:

The book, as a whole, is an enjoyably self-conscious literary performance. Echoes of other books, such as The Collector and J. G. Ballard's Crash, are obvious. There are also plenty of elements tossed in for symbol-hunters, especially the leitmotifs of stains and cracks. The smell of cordite is another motif, seeming to follow the narrator around and foreshadowing an appearance by the Devil himself as a London borough councillor, apparently leading the narrator on to the Other Side.

Blogger Ellis Sharp is less convinced of Tom's influences though:

Alex Good is enthusiastic about Tom McCarthy's Remainder - but to my mind, oddly so--Lots of novels remind me of other novels. Not so Remainder, which struck me as utterly and brilliantly original. Whatever the influences may have been, they have been absorbed, filtered and made invisible.

The review refers to the paperback edition which is published by Vintage. We still have a few copies of the lovely hardcover edition available though if you'd like one. They will be collector's items...

Tom's new novel MEN IN SPACE is published in September and his nonfiction book TINTIN AND THE SECRET OF LITERATURE has just been released in paperback.

TINTIN AND THE SECRET OF LITERATURE is reviewed in the most recent edition of EYE WEEKLY.

Click here for Tom's article for The Times

Click here for Alex Good's review of REMAINDER for The Record

Click here for Eye Weekly's review of TINTIN AND THE SECRET OF LITERATURE


The Good Eater on Canada AM

by Dan
June 20, 2007

Author and former male model Ron Saxen talked about his intensely personal battle with binge eating disorder (BED) and his new book THE GOOD EATER with Canada AM's Seamus O'Reagan this morning.

Click here to watch the interview


Dirty Talk - The Literary Word Review

by Dan
June 20, 2007

Charlene over at The Literary Word blog has posted a racy review of Chronicle Books' smart and funny guide to erotic vocabulary DIRTY TALK: SPEAK THE LANGUAGE OF LUST by Lynne Stanton (with sleek illustrations by UK illustrator Stan Chow):

Lynne Stanton gives us a cute little book that is a breeze to read. This book oozes sensuality, even the smooth velvet style cover screams out with it and while it jumped out at me as making a great valentines gift, it would be a fabulous addition to any bedroom, any time.

Click here for the complete review

Click here for more Chronicle Books


Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award 2006

by Dan
Fiction + News / June 19, 2007

Congratulations to Raincoast author Adam Lewis Schroeder whose debut novel THE EMPRESS OF ASIA is a finalist for 30th annual First Novel Award, a prestigious Canadian literary award that recognizes the outstanding achievement of a first-time novelist.

The six nominees for the 2006 First Novel Award, listed alphabetically by author, are:

- "The Law of Dreams" by Peter Behrens, House of Anansi Press

- "The Uninvited Guest" by John Degen, Nightwood Editions

- "Stolen" by Annette Lapointe, Anvil Press

- "Lullabies for Little Criminals" by Heather O'Neill, Harper Collins

- "Empress of Asia" by Adam Lewis Schroeder, Raincoast Books

- "Certainty" by Madeleine Thien, McClelland & Stewart

Previous winners include Michael Ondaatje, Rohinton Mistry, Anne Michaels, Colin McAdam and Joseph Boyden.

Click here for more information about the award

Click here for The Globe and Mail review of Empress of Asia


Untapped on Business Week Online

by Dan
June 19, 2007

John Ghazvinian, author of the UNTAPPED: THE SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA'S OIL, discusses the 'curse of oil' and its effect on Africa in a fascinating video interview with Business Week online.

CLICK HERE FOR THE INTERVIEW


Nature of Monsters Round-Up

by Dan
Fiction / June 18, 2007

I had the pleasure of meeting Clare Clark, author of THE NATURE OF MONSTERS, in Toronto a couple of weeks ago when she was in town for a reading at The Booked! Festival and so I was very happy to see that her devilishly good new novel garnered a great review in The New York Times this weekend:

In "The Nature of Monsters," Clark again shows an impressive ability to combine historical accuracy with vivid language and a strong plot, confirming her claim to a place in historical city-lit by returning to London for a tale of mystery, skulduggery and (in what seems set to become a hallmark of her work) intensely described physical sensation--As a storyteller, Clark is endowed with verve and intelligence, but her larger gift, dazzlingly in evidence throughout both her fine novels, lies in the originality of her imagination. She gives us a world that feels alive and intense, magnificently raw.

Furthermore, James Macgowan profiled Clare Clark for the Ottawa Citizen on Sunday:

Clark, who just turned 40, studied history at Cambridge, and must have taken her studying seriously, for she doesn't just describe life in 1719 London, she reconstructs it, smelly detail by smelly detail, until the dirt, the odour, and the brutish streets lift themselves off the page and practically squat down next to you.

And Joseph at The Book Design Review Blog has posted about the terrific cover design for the book!

Here's a quick summary, of recent reviews and interviews:

Newspapers

The Globe and Mail

The Guardian (United Kingdom)

The New York Times

Ottawa Citizen interview

St. Petersburg Times (Florida)

The Winnipeg Free Press

Online

The Book Design Review

Curled Up With a Good Book interview and review

Eclectic Closet

The Jane Day Reader (this review also ran in The Winnipeg Free Press review)

So Misguided


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