From Canada, with Despair

Pasha Malla, a Canadian writer, has put together some thoughts on the current state of how we speak about writing in Canada. I imagine some of his points will be familiar to readers in other countries. Up here fiction writers don’t talk enough in the open about such matters, and his at times humourous approach is welcome. “27 Thoughts About CanLit” — there could be hundreds. But he was only being paid so much, as you’ll see.


On the latest set of rules for writing—Canadian version


In Canada there are two national newspapers. One, The National Post, runs a section called Afterword. On 28 March 2013 Chad Pelley, an award-winning Newfoundland author lately responsible for the novel Every Little Thing, offered readers a glimpse into his experiences as a writer, as well as rules. He doesn’t call them rules, and is careful to use that word only once (about others), but his commentary is filled with the words should and must. These are the sorts of words found in legislation, and that’s fitting, as he’s offering a bill for writers. Don’t you just think John Gardner when you hear about rules? It’s not as bad as that because Chad isn’t Gardner, but it still does make the heart sink.

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Image replication or recycling

J. Robert Lennon’s latest novel, Familiar, came out in October 2012, and it has this cover:














It’s about a woman whose life breaks away from itself, and you can read more about it here. It’s put out by Graywolf.

In the 27 September 2012 issue of the London Review of Books there was an ad featuring a scholarly work by Patrick Grant. Imperfection, a non-fiction title, came out in May 2012 from Athabasca University Press. Here’s the cover:














What are the odds that this almost identical cover would be used by two different presses? Funnily enough, Lennons book is about a woman who suddenly has two lives, and she fights to understand what has happened and to get back to the life she always knew.

As one Bond novel put it (maybe Goldfinger): Coincidence, happenstance, or enemy action?