Many of the letters in A Memoir of Friendship are about writing and reading, books and manuscripts; Blanche Howard and Carol Shields swapped book recommendations and writing frustrations and philosophies alongside the everyday stuff and nonsense of life. In 1993, Blanche wrote to Carol Shields, two years after their
I pulled André Alexis' Despair and Other Stories of Ottawa (1994) off my shelf when Fifteen Dogs was nominated for the Toronto Book Award (since then, FD has also been nominated for the Giller Prize and the Rogers' Writers' Trust Fiction Award). There aren't any notable four-legged characters, but the collection is fascinating.
In collection reading, since Quarterly Stories: Winter 2013 I've read Susie Moloney's Things Withered, the latest installment of the Alice Munro reading project, B.J. Novak's One More Thing, and the most recent volume of Journey Prize stories. But mostly I've been dipping into single stories in recent months. Partly this was inspired by random samplings of the latest ReLit
“Number One, satire is not on. Critics love it, real people turn it off." That from the satirical novel Easy to Like*, which takes on Canadian media just as Linda Svendsen takes on Canadian politics in Sussex Drive. Of course, Edward Riche was satirizing the idea of satire
Terry Fallis’ The Best Laid Plans McClelland & Stewart, 2007 Daniel Addison arrived on Partliament Hill in Ottawa to work as a speech writer, “[n]aïve, innocent, and excited” and left five years later, “embittered, exhausted, and ineffably sad”. The Best Laid Plans begins after that, so you might expect a