18 March 2011

Another review for SDJ

My novel Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew has received a second review from an American trade journal. This time it's Booklist. I'm especially happy because the reviewer also liked Julio Cortazar and Carol Dunlop's Autonauts of the Cosmoroute, translated by my friend Anne McLean.

Ross, Stuart (Author) Apr 2011. 168 p. ECW, paperback, $17.95. (9781770410138).

Poet and avant-garde short-story writer Ross turns to the novel to explore, among other things, notions of Jewish identity and the loss of one’s parents. At first glance, this is a mystery of sorts. Ben, the narrator, is trying to figure out whether the memory he has of his late mother shooting a neo-Nazi in the head is real or imagined. Though he “couldn’t imagine his mother actually pulling the trigger of a gun, or even knowing how,” when he remembers her doing it, then he can imagine it. But Ben is not just a middle-aged Canadian Jew reflecting on his childhood. He is also a performance artist whose professional activities have included eating a thousand donuts, building a sacred stone man out of egg rolls, and sitting in a giant tub of ketchup while people pull his hair until he screams. And so Ross’ novel, which is consistently minimalist and nostalgic but also variously touching, hilarious, and sad, frequently challenges (and perhaps distracts) the reader by venturing into the surreal.

— Brendan Driscoll

Over and out.


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