So I got my copy of Darryl Joel Berger's Dark All Day in the mail this week, with assorted goodies tucked inside the envelope.
(Except for the mini-ninjas at the bottom of the image. Those are my daughter's...)
Darryl and I have been collaborating for nearly two years. At first, we just sent images (him) and text (me) back and forth.
Which was great - many of the texts have found a place in my upcoming collection - but after a year of that, we decided to complicate things.
So for the past eight months, we've been working on a alpha-bestiary and an end-days epistolary novel.
Somewhere in there, Darryl was getting ready to publish his second collection of short fictions + drawings with American publisher Fjords. And he asked me to blurb it:
"Each of the illustrated fictions in Dark All Day is a few minutes of true darkness in a world of humming fluorescence. Taken together, they're an eclipse that doesn't require special eyewear, a black eye without the looming fist. To sum: Darryl Joel Berger's second collection of stories is a bleakly excellent mash-up of image and text." - Ariel Gordon, author of Hump.
This was my first blurb. Writing them is like gnawing on a chunk of horseradish, like sitting on the floor all day. Which is to say that I was sore all over but oddly proud of myself (and him) by the time I'd finished drafting it.
It turns out he asked everyone to blurb: Peter Darbyshire, Diane Schoemperlen, Gillian Sze, Carolyn Smart. But I'm still proud! (And will be interviewing for for an upcoming installment of Out of Town Authors...)
* * *
About DARK ALL DAY
Fiction. "From the first page,
you know you're in the wrong hands. So perfectly, exquisitely wrong,"
Peter Darbyshire said about DARK ALL DAY, DJ Berger's second book.
Inconsolably drawn to the end of things, and the forlorn beauty of
wreckages, "With his second collection of short fiction, DJ Berger
offers 41 discrete tales of indiscreet characters. They will blow your
mind one by one. If you crossed Stephen King with Raymond Carver you'd
be getting close to what's going on here. The vision is bleak indeed,
but also funny, intimate, and more than painfully real: a true dark
triumph," said Carolyn Smart. Each story is introduced with a sketch in
Berger's signature style. Hope and humor are used as distant but
gleaming stars, to undermine the darkness where it can, and what fires
many of these stories is a sense of anarchic theatre, where anything
might come next.
About the Author
Darryl Joel Berger's first collection of stories-called Punishing Ugly Children
- was published in Fall 2010 by Killick Press. This same manuscript won
the 2007 David Adams Richards Prize and was shortlisted for the
national/Canadian ReLit Awards. His short story "Scissors" was a
finalist in the 2007 Commonwealth Short Story Competition and his
novella Broken Hill was a finalist for the Malahat Review
Novella Prize. He lives with his wife Christina and daughter Oona in
Kingston, Ontario. See more of his illustrations at http://red-handed.blogspot.com/