Just finishing up an email interview with a student who is studying Delible. She asked a question about the setting (why the suburb of Mississauga as opposed to the DTES) that renewed my thinking about suburbs as asocial spaces (something I thought a lot about while writing Delible). Here is part of my response:
The suburbs themselves interest me as a locale. They’re often portrayed idyllically in literary stories, but I wanted to explore how suburbs are (or aren’t) shaped for social uses. Suburbs aren’t built for walking or gathering – the suburbs are generally asocial in their organization. Especially now that I have a daughter, I really appreciate the way that the Commercial Drive neighbourhood is a series of beautifully social spaces, shared and inhabited by many different people. It’s quite remarkable. I can’t help but compare the experience of living here with living in a suburb, a neighbourhood of quiet homes set very far apart from gathering spaces (which tend to be very condensed commercial spaces, like malls). So, you get miles and miles of houses, then a node of commercial activity (a mall), then miles and miles of houses. In the Commercial Drive area, by comparison, social spaces dot the neighbourhood; residential, commercial and social areas intermingle. The asocial organization of suburbs makes driving a necessity. For a teen, who cannot drive, a suburb can be as entrapping as an island; it can be experienced as a real wasteland.
When I read at SFU on Thursday, Mercedes Eng was there and asked a great question — or made a great point. In distinguishing the earlier (two) novels (jacks and Hush) from the later one (Delible), I’d said something along the lines of how the earlier works had more in common with poems, and in each short novel, I’d tried to sustain a single note or pitch (chord, more accurately, as both of those novels are multivocal). In Delible, by contrast, I’d aimed at more than a single note (or chord). Mercedes pointed to a passage I’d read that day about 15 year old Lora, who takes to (sometimes) wearing her missing sister’s glasses after she is gone. Is that how you tried to achieve more than one note, she asked, with the glasses? And, yes, — Continue reading
The Relit Awards longlist is out and Delible is there, along with a lot — uh, a lot — of other great independent works. And I felt the first kick today (from W’s & my little one). An awesome day.
REDUX: Here in Vangroovy, winter’s set in, which means rain. The current issue of the McGill News has a great review of Delible.
Rita Wong and Robert Majzels have thoughtful responses up on rob mclennan’s ‘12 or 20.’ (I’m sure I should get why they’re called ’12 or 20,’ but don’t.) Can’t wait to read Rita’s new book, Forage.
Tonight, Wayde Compton (my sweetheart) performs at the Western Front.
Wayde Compton and Jason De Couto: The Reinventing Wheel, A Turntable Project.
Sat., Jan. 12, 7:30 pm, The Western Front, 303 E. 8th Ave., Vancouver. Reception to follow. Free admission. Presented by the SFU Writer-in-Residence Program
And, in a week or two, David Chariandy and I read out at UBC. Here’s the announcement from the Play Chthonics Reading Series website:
Play Chthonics Reading Series
will host writers Anne Stone and David Chariandy.
Wednesday January 23, 2007 at 7:30 PM. Cash bar.
Cecil Green Park Coach House
6201 Cecil Green Park Road, UBC
Zoe Whittall (author of Bottle Rocket Hearts) chose Delible as her book of the year for the Globe! — along with Elizabeth Bachinski’s Home of Sudden Service and Emily Holton’s Little Lessons in Safety. (Nice company to be in, all round.)
CBC’s North by Northwest will air an interview about Delible Sunday morning between 8 & 9 a.m. (I think it’ll be archived on site later). I liked Sheryl MacKay right away. It was one of those interviews that morphs into a conversation (in a good way), the context falling away.
There have been a few new reviews this month: Now Magazine calls Delible “inventive and lushly rendered,” January Magazine likes the title, and Canadian Literature reviews Delible alongside Shani Mootoo’s He Drown She in the Sea.
Word on the Street is next weekend. I’ll going to be there all day (hanging out at the Insomniac Press book table, if you want to come by). Here’s to hoping that Louis Rastelli’s more-than-fine debut, A Fine Ending, is back from the printer in time for WOTS!
The Delible bookshort is up:
The video captures part of a really great interview Amy Logan Holmes conducted with me at Book Expo. I can see this being really useful as an intro at readings, and also, to offer anyone who picks up the book a sense of the thinking behind the novel, which is very cool. Judith Keenan, who creates these Bookshorts, did an amazing job.
The song they used is haunting and beautiful and, the way it’s cut in, couldn’t fit better if it was written for the short. (Thank you to Pangaea music and the lovely vocal stylings of Jessica Rhaye).
(Click here to play the fuller sized version).
Apparently, if you’re American, you can download books for free. Including new books. Um, here’s a free copy of my book. (Thanks for the link, J.)
After the Tyee article came out, there was a bit of a furor over Steven Galloway’s facetious remark about burning down libraries. So, uh, I won’t say anything at all, uh, that might incite folks to burn down the goddamned internet.
Seriously, though. I do wonder what the net affect of this is. But then, I’m still happy (and even a little surprised) when I see that one of my books has been taken out of the local library.
disjunct reading series
Wednesday, July 25th at 8:00 pm at the Wired Monk Cafe
2610 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver
Reading by Anne Stone, music by Shane Krause and Jonathon Wilcke
Anne Stone’s latest novel, Delible (Insomniac Press, April 2007), tells the story of Melora Sprague, a 15-year-old girl whose sister has gone missing.
Report on Steve Lacy:
Shane Krause (Baritone saxophone) and Jonathon Wilcke (alto saxophone)
Shane and Jonathon have spent the past year researching the compositions and improvisational approaches of soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy. It’s about time they presented their research.
Shane Krause plays baritone saxophone along with Bflat and bass clarinet. He is a member of the bands Heartwarmongering and Halfbeard. Jonathon Wilcke is an alto saxophonist and vocalizor [sic]. He plays with Robots on Fire, the pppoetry band, and The Big Elbow. They both live in East Van.
A new review came out this morning. The Toronto Star calls Delible:
“… a compelling exploration of the intense, secretive world of teenagers.
Stone has constructed a narrative that’s often wrenching. It offers no false
comfort or tidy resolutions, but leaves a lasting mark.”