Articles by Dan
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.
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...
June 20, 2007
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.
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
- "Certainty" by Madeleine Thien, McClelland & Stewart
Previous winners include Michael Ondaatje, Rohinton Mistry, Anne Michaels, Colin McAdam and Joseph Boyden.
June 19, 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 Guardian (United Kingdom)
St. Petersburg Times (Florida)
The Winnipeg Free Press
The Jane Day Reader (this review also ran in The Winnipeg Free Press review)
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.
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.
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.
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! : )
It's a fabulous discussion, but be warned, there is a lot of talk of insect sex and weird parasites. Ewww....!
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.