It's looking like a decent, if not a standout year for Canadian fiction.
The big names are Michael Ondaatje and Barbara Gowdy, but here are a good number of young novelists coming out with their second or third novels/story collections that will determine their standing soon enough.
The early buzz is around Don Hannah's Ragged Islands (Knopf Canada) and the Globe is largely pleased. It seems unreservedly so for Neil Smith's story collection Bang Crunch. Smith got his picture in the paper (trade paper) also.
As for me, I'm settling in with this, although it's a wispy thing and the $32.95 cover price seems a bit high.
Here's a few in new in paper for a lot less.
Speaking of which, Zadie doesn't put a foot wrong here.
"When we are confronted with a delicate, odd little novel, that pretends to no encyclopedic knowledge of the world, that offers no journalistic signposts as to its meaning, that is not set in a country at war, or centred around some issue in the papers, we seem to have no idea how to read it. We have our map of Europe and this novel is Denmark, maybe even just Copenhagen. But we've forgotten how to walk round Copenhagen. Frankly, it seems a pointless activity. If fiction is going to be this particular and inimical, we'd rather give it up and read something useful and real like a biography of Stalin."
Jessa's right, Zadie's photogenic. But she knows a thing or two as well.
Posted by Dave
Posted by Dave