21 February 2011

Ross and Lavery read on Wednesday!

House of Anansi presents

John Lavery and Stuart Ross
An unusual night of fiction (and song)

23 February · 7:30 pm

LeVack Block
88 Ossington Avenue

This is not your typical evening of fiction. I'm telling you.

Join us for this rare joint reading by John Lavery and Stuart Ross.

John will be reading from his widely acclaimed novel, Sandra Beck, and he'll be performing selections from his forthcoming CD, Dignity. He gives readings such as you have never before witnessed.

I'll be reading from Buying Cigarettes for the Dog, his ReLit Prize-winning story collection, as well as some new works, and possibly a preview from his forthcoming novel, Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew.

And it's free, damn it!

JOHN LAVERY is the author of two acclaimed story collections, Very Good Butter and You, Kwaznievski, You Piss Me Off (both from ECW Press), and the novel Sandra Beck (Anansi). Very Good Butter was a finalist for the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction, and Lavery has twice been a finalist in the annual Prism International fiction contest. His stories have appeared in This Magazine, Canadian Forum, the Ottawa Citizen, and the London Spectator, as well as in the Journey Prize Anthology. He lives in Gatineau, Quebec.

STUART ROSS's most recent books are Buying Cigarettes for the Dog (Freehand Books), Dead Cars in Managua (DC Books), and I Cut My Finger (Anvil Press). Buying Cigarettes for the Dog was a finalist for the Alberta Readers' Choice Award and the Alberta Book Publishers Award, and is the 2010 winner of the ReLit Prize in the short-fiction category. Stuart is Fiction & Poetry Editor at This Magazine, and he has his own imprint through Mansfield Press. After half a century in Toronto, Stuart now lives in Cobourg, Ontario.

Over and out.

11 February 2011

First review of SDJ

Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew went to the printer this week, I think, and now it has received its first review, in the trade publication Publishers Weekly.

02/14/2011 Fiction

Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew
Stuart Ross, ECW, $17.95 trade paper (168p) ISBN 978-1-77041-013-8

Ross's slight first novel is composed of brief, somber, funny tales, and begins in Ontario with the narrator's memory of his mother avenging the gas chamber deaths of her Polish relatives by shooting a prominent neo-Nazi in the head. The fantasy of the victim suddenly empowered--his mother killing Rolf Köber as he steps out of a Jewish-owned hardware store, his hardhat spinning "like a dreidl"--becomes a mournful dirge that runs through these nostalgic and grim coming-of-age anecdotes. Both the narrator, Ben, and his mother have been bullied, she as a girl by Christian children, he by an older boy who forces him to destroy the book he's reading. As Ben destroys Black Like Me he thinks, "Now was the time to fight back," a vengeance fantasy that comforts him. Ben's parents die of cancer and his older brother, Jake, loses his memory, then his mind; Ben turns to performance art, reliving childhood traumas in acts called "Stagger" and "Nerve Endings," and often rehearsing fantasies, such as Jimmy Stewart's bell tower pursuit of Kim Novak in Vertigo. These are sharply composed vignettes with a keen sense of timing and humor. (Apr.)

Over and out.