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Articles by Dan

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.


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:


The Globe and Mail

The Guardian (United Kingdom)

The New York Times

Ottawa Citizen interview

St. Petersburg Times (Florida)

The Winnipeg Free Press


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

Parenting Your Complex Child - Autism Acceptance Project Review

by Dan
June 04, 2007

Peggy Lee Morgan's son Billy Ray was diagnosed with both Downs Syndrome and autism. Her book, PARENTING YOUR COMPLEX CHILD, draws on her 35 years of experience working with special-needs children and their families, as well as her personal experience with parenting the multiply disabled Billy Ray.

Providing insight and straightforward advice for parents, PARENTING YOUR COMPLEX CHILD was recently reviewed on The Autism Acceptance Project website:

Peggy Lou skirts around no issue - from traveling, aggressive behaviour, and visitations to restaurants, we see that she and Billy Ray have, like many of us, faced some difficult moments as well as triumphant ones. But their triumph is getting a handle on expectations, getting organized and creating a life that works for both Billy Ray and herself. Peggy Lou is both realistic and positive.

Click here for the full review

Click here for Peggy Lee Morgan's Website

Nature of Monsters - Jane Day Reader Review

by Dan
Fiction / May 30, 2007

Ariel Gordon, Winnipeg-based writer and editor, has posted a very thoughtful review of Clare Clark's THE NATURE OF MONSTERS on her blog The Jane Day Reader:

LEAF through the first dozen pages of Londoner Clare Clark's richly disturbing second novel, and the following conclusions are inevitable.

First, that the former historian has a dark but orderly brain.

Second, that she is utterly unafraid.

The review originally appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press on Sunday.

Click here for the full review

PS - Clare is reading at the Booked! Festival in Toronto on Sunday June 10th at 12pm in the Speigeltent located at Harbourfront with Gil Adamson, author of THE OUTLANDER (Anansi Press). It would be great to see you there! : )

Riddled With Life on Quirks and Quarks

by Dan
Podcasts / May 28, 2007

Biologist Dr. Marlene Zuk, the author of RIDDLED WITH LIFE, was interviewed by Bob McDonald on CBC Radio One's Quirks and Quarks on Saturday!

It's a fabulous discussion, but be warned, there is a lot of talk of insect sex and weird parasites. Ewww....!

Click here to listen to Marlene Zuk on Quirks and Quarks

Adorable Melancholy

by Dan
May 18, 2007

On the Tyee Books website, Sam Macklin has taken a look at some of the new, lovingly packaged collections of classic comic strips from Fantagraphics and Drawn and Quarterly. Sam reviews PEANUTS VOLUME 6, KRAZY & IGNATZ 1937-1938, POPEYE VOLUME 1, WALT AND SKEEZIX: 1921 & 1922 and MOOMIN BOOK ONE:

All of these works share a vague mood that could be described as "adorable melancholy," something that seems like a fading echo from a gentler and (in some ways) more tolerant age.

The New York Times took its own unique look at classic comic strip reprints with D & Q cartoonist Joe Matt back in January and, needless to say, all these books are all great. They're beautiful editions for collectors that respect the craft of creators, but they're also wonderful introductions to these classics for a new generation of readers. I know everyone at Raincoast is looking forward to the POGO collection that Fantagraphics are publishing in September.

Click here for The Tyee Books article on 'Adorable Melancholy'

Click here for the New York Times on Comic Reprints

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