Because it's nearly three am and I just finished my latest review - this time of Anar Ali's first book of short stories, Baby Khaki's Wings - I thought I'd take a moment to issue a few more commands (um, what I really mean is...recommendations) about what I think people would/could/should be reading:
Some Great Thing by Colin McAdam was actually some great, as my come from away's friend's Newfoundland-based lover would say. If nothing else, it contains the two most wildly different voices I've ever read in a literary novel. It also manages to wrench whatever organs you believe are the source of emotion in people - the heart, the belly, the lungs.
I saw McAdam read in great style from Some Great Thing at the book festival in Banff more than a year ago, but chose to take home Colm Toibin's The Master instead. I think it was the scene with the gondola and the floating dresses that seduced me, but I'm glad I also let McAdam's descriptions of construction sites and chip-truck sex have their way with me.
The 52nd Poem by Thomas Trofimuk came to me in exchange for a picture of the the night time woods. Fellow blogger Anita needed a picture for a poster containing young adult novels for a conference. I apparently needed this book. A trade was made, and our late night identical suitcases were made of electrons and packing tape.
Not unlike the night time woods, it took me some convincing to get intoThe 52nd Poem, as it contains a meta-fictional opening that is far too precious for its own good. The longing and meditation that form the center of the book is so unusually good that it makes the initial slog worthwhile...so much so, in fact, that I've asked to review his next book, Doubting Yourself to the Bone, even though he's jumped ship from local Great Plains Publications to Toronto's Cormorant Books.
Now it's back to the ecopoetics for me...