27 May 2009

A very unusual review, and a launch in Vancouver

Michael Bryson wrote a very unusual review of Buying Cigarettes for the Dog on his intriguing blog. I think that's review #7. The next is due in Saturday's Vancouver Sun. What's goin' on?

Speaking of Vancouver, I'm launching my book there this Saturday, and I'm really happy to be sharing the occasion with Alexandra Leggat, who is launching her new story collection too. Here's the guff, McDuff:

Saturday, May 30, 2009 at 7:00 pm
Cafe Montmartre, 4362 Main Street
Vancouver, BC

Anvil Press and Freehand Books are joining forces to launch two of the coolest books you'll read this year: Animal by Alexandra Leggat and Buying Cigarettes for the Dog by Stuart Ross.

More info: 604-876-8710

About the books and authors:

By Alexandra Leggat

In a style reminiscent of Raymond Carver, the stories contained in Animal depict people on the brink of major life change. They stand at crossroads they are often oblivious to; they suck thick air in rooms filled with palpable tension. Leggat's characters often seem captured in a cinematic slo-mo, teetering on the edge of something unknown, heroically resisting the ever-present pull of Fate. It matters little whether the characters take action or refuse to act; life acts for them. The reader is left to wonder: When does "meaning" cease to have meaning? Like travelling a mountain highway at night, what's just around the next bend is never known. The stories in Animal never fail to deliver potent surprises.

By Stuart Ross

A man steps out for a pack of smokes and winds up walking around the planet; a woman sun-tanning by a pool finds herself covered in chicken feet; a guerrilla army of cows infiltrates a big city; a man hires a bodyguard to protect him from his poodle. The first book of fiction since 1997 from the consummately underground Stuart Ross blends an unflagging penchant for experiment with the measured skill of a seasoned, highly disciplined craftsman. Buying Cigarettes for the Dog is anything but a collection of linked stories in a homogenous voice: instead, Ross offers us fables, letters, political tracts, gems of minimalist surrealism, and even a post-gothic novella. Throughout, he draws from the same deep, dark sense of humour that has earned him acclaim as Canada's foremost surrealist poet. Ross's strange, strangely compassionate stories engage the emotions as well as the intellect, giving the reader no choice but to participate. Buying Cigarettes for the Dog holds a mirror to the absurdities of 21st-century Earth; here is an absurdism so true that it becomes real.

Over and out.


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