Apr 182014

DG is on his way home, though at this stage of life home is a moving target, indeterminate and scattered, more like a field of destinations than a particular place. Let’s just say he gets mail at a lot of different addresses.

But his sojourn as Writer-in-Residence at the University of New Brunswick is over and on April 16, as new snow blanketed Fredericton and the St. John River continued to rise across the street from Mark Jarman’s house, he left town (and was subsequently nearly swept away outside of Lancaster, NH, where the Connecticut River had flooded over Bridge Street in two places).

Last events included a reading at Odd Odd Sunday’s on Friday at Molly’s (postponed from the week before due to a blizzard) on April 11 and another reading at the Qwerty Reading Series at the Grad House Pub (which used to be Alden Nowlan’s house where dg, in a different incarnation, went for dinner a couple of times in the early 1970s) on April 14.

Most fun in the last weeks? Shoveling water with Mark in the flooded backyard where the cars were parked. Yes, shoveling water. Don’t ask. Just think: a couple of guys, estimable writers, trying to avoid work, shoveling water and drinking beer in the sun. Clarissa’s response? Irrepressible disbelief and glee at the strangeness of men. Rob’s response? This will go away if I ignore it.

What does dg feel like leaving? Time to move on but lots of regrets. What does Lucy feel? No, I don’t want to go. This is the best place ever. I have friends. I have put down roots. You can’t make me leave.

For anyone wishing to review the whole unseemly chronicle of events since last September, you can click through the Writer-in-Residence Blog.


Jack Lucy and FifiJack, Lucy and Fifi

DSCF7573Mark on top of the snow mountain in the backyard, April 3


mMark Anthony Jarman


DG at gradhouseDG’s last reading as Writer-in-Residence at the Grad House (formerly Alden Nowlan’s house), April 14 (Photo by Stephanie Doucette)

DSCF7651-002Lucy and  Clarissa go for a last run together

Back yad Apr 16Backyard from second floor window, April 16

DSCF7654Lucy refusing to get in the car, tucked in her favourite spot on the loveseat, where she spent many happy hours watching television, reading and offering editorial advice to Mark and Clarissa

Apr 022014

What does a typical day look like for you? How much time you spend writing? Do you have any routines that you find help foster productivity?

I am not an ideal writer, I’m afraid. I live pretty much like everyone else, well, everyone else who doesn’t have a day job. Put the dog out, coffee, look at the news, do some work, put the dog out, coffee, run some errands, talk to my mother, go to the gym, walk the dog, talk to my girlfriend, talk to my sons, put the dog out, more coffee, scotch, and a book at bedtime. Up until recently, my two sons were living with me and my day bent around them, their needs and schedules. But they are both away at university now. None of this is noteworthy or mysterious. I am an intermittent writer, which is fine with me. And, aside from the annual virgin sacrifice in the woods behind my house, I don’t do anything to foster productivity.

Read the rest @ Douglas Glover – nineteenquestions.

Apr 012014

About midnight, I went to let Lucy out and realized that in the past couple of hours we’d had nearly a foot of new snow. This after two days of steady sleet and snow mixed. The plow guy came twice over the weekend. He’ll have to come again in the morning. In the kitchen just now, Mark looked at me and said, “This never happened before you came to live here.”

The light is terrible and I can’t take pictures, but I wanted you to get a sense of what being a Writer-in-Residence is like, the stark grandeur of the elements, the threat of imminent death by exposure and starvation. I ate my last can of Irish stew tonight. There is nothing left to eat but banana bread Clarissa brought home from a wake Saturday. Rob has a half-eaten carton of Gelato. We’ll be fighting each other for that soon enough.

It’s now officially April 1.


Waterloo Row from the front second floor window.


Out the back door.





Walking out toward the street.



The front of the house.



Lucy waiting by the backdoor.


Mark finishing his book. This is the literary part of the post.


Mar 242014

Lucy & dg in the surfDG & Lucy at Lawrencetown Beach outside Halifax. Photo by Jacob Glover.

DG has been on the road for eons, it seems, reading from Savage Love, being a Writer-in-Residence. He has finished many books along the way including Trollope’s The Way We Live Now (very long) and three Evelyn Waugh novels, hitherto kept on hand for emergencies. A new essay is forming: “Novel Structure Lite” (more on this another time). We were in Halifax for the March 13 reading at the University of King’s College, which I’ve already written about). But then we stayed on and went to the beach (yes, Halifax, compared to Fredericton, is positively sub-tropical).

Savage Love Cover

Here’s another picture (bad lighting, I know) from King’s, Jacob introducing dg.


Then dg and Lucy at Lawrencetown Beach again. She gets very excited about surf. Note dg’s trademark camo cargo pants and baseball cap purchased at a high-end art boutique in Venice.

dg & lucy2

dg and Lucy Lawrencetown Beach

Then home to Fredericton briefly and on to Saint John. My hotel room gave onto the harbour (when I was extremely young, I covered the port for the local daily newspaper — I was there when the first container cranes started working).



And here is the Martello Tower in West Saint John (behind the container terminal), which figures prominently in dg’s short story “The Obituary Writer” from which the name Numéro Cinq is taken. It was cloudy, rainy, windy — everything looked a bit, well. forsaken.


The port in Saint John is at the mouth of the Saint John River (which goes by Mark Jarman’s house where I live in Fredericton). In Saint John, the river flows one way part of the time and then it flows the other way (hence the famous Reversing Falls just upstream from the port). Just above the Reversing Falls is the giant Irving paper mill.


As a cub reporter, dg once helped police snag a drowned man out of the river on the rocks just across from the mill. The man had been in the water for a very long time, and parts of him were falling off as he came to shore. This, too, became a short story with the gruesome title “Floater,” one of those stories that got published in a magazine and then never reprinted (for really good reasons not to be dwelt upon).

And here’s the newspaper building where dg worked. It was then called The Evening-Times Globe (I took this picture through the car window at a stop light — a noble genre).


DG worked here for a year. There was a printing press on  the lower floor, a lovely old thing with bells and the smell of lead and oil. Now it’s no longer there. The newspaper is printed in Moncton. The building backs onto Courtney Bay with the huge Irving Oil refinery and docks and transshipment terminal.



All this is kind of dull as imagery, but somehow it wreaked of old excitement and familiarity to dg (despite the wind, rain, sleet, etc.) who was something like 23 at the time (and, yes, dreamed of sailing away on a steamer).

Friday (March 21) was the Moncton reading, at the Aberdeen Cafe, hosted by Lee Thompson who took pictures. (Note dg’s beer strategically placed on a spare baby’s highchair within reach of the microphone.)




For the Saint John-Moncton epic, Lucy stayed home.

Fifi and Lucy

Last stop, a reading at Odd Sundays at Molly’s in Fredericton this coming Sunday.


Mar 152014

Savage Love Cover

I know you are all breathless keeping up with my meandering ways. Some clarification follows.

I’m reading at the University of New Brunswick’s Saint John campus Wednesday night, a return visit, not sure, in fact, if I’ve been there since I taught philosophy at in the early 1970s. I am wondering if the place has changed, though I remember this building (Ganong Hall), named for a New Brunswick chocolate-making family. I may have said this before, but when I taught Schopenhauer to undergrads at UNBSJ, I had the longest hair on campus. Those were great times. I sometimes held classes in my apartment, which I shared with a guy named Wolfy (who had no teeth) and which contained no furniture (we all sat around the living room parquet drinking wine and burning holes in the floor with candles listening to Carole King’s Tapestry — I dunno, I was about twelve at the time). Once a student of mine, returning from a class, was discovered by police asleep in his car parked on a railroad crossing in the early hours of the following morning. (Should I be saying this before my reading?) As I recall, the police were very understanding and followed him home.

The next evening, Thursday, I’ll be giving my generative workshop (lesson, prompts, exercises — everyone will come out writing like Leo Tolstoy or James Joyce).

And the evening after that I read at the Attic Owl Reading Series in Moncton.

Then I will go home to Fredericton and rest for five minutes.




Mar 142014

So dg read from Savage Love at the University of King’s College in Halifax last night, hosted by the King’s Co-op Bookstore. DG’s son Jacob did the introduction, a first, a sweet & unsurpassable moment not vouchsafed many writers (or fathers). The lighting was a bit dim, but here is a photo, just for the record.


Mar 112014

Savage Love Cover

New event, just arranged: Attic Owl Reading Series event in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Friday, March 21. Moncton has a major airport so we are arranging charter flights from large cities across the continent for fans, also special buses and trains from the eastern seaboard down to Key West. This is a late-breaking appearance for dg, so possibly only the most devout readers and party animals will manage to get there in time. (Let me just say that some of you are in danger of having your fan club cards revoked for non-appearance — really, we don’t care if it’s winter and you have infants and a job.)

Actually, the Attic Owl Reading Series is an ancient and well-loved event. There will be music as well, though dg won’t be singing “songs from the Sixties” as some reports have suggested. He might hum a little if pressed.

There is a Facebook event page here.

Details: Douglas Glover at Attic Owl

Time: 7pm.

Place: Café Aberdeen, 140 Bostford Street, Centre culturel Aberdeen, Moncton, New Brunswick.

Feb 282014

Lucy and dg are still in residence at the University of New Brunswick, though it’s become increasingly difficult to, you know, actually find the university. So far there have been no reports of looting or shooting at the grocery stores. And now that the strike is over a few humans have returned to campus.

We persevere.


DSCF7203Out the back door at midnight


DSCF7207Out the front window at midnight


eagles2Bald eagle in front of the house overlooking the river


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat the eagles are looking at (usually they would be fishing in the river)

DSCF7154Waterloo Row


DSCF7179University Avenue

DSCF7182University of New Brunswick


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALucy, Dog of the North (we’re working on her colour coordination; I told her she couldn’t wear the plaid with the blue boots, but would she listen?)

Video produced when the weather was still warm and one could be optimistic.
At this time, one did not realize that most of the Writer-in-Residence job
would involve shoveling Mark Jarman’s car out.


Feb 262014

Savage Love Cover

I’m running a 3-hour generative workshop in Saint John, New Brunswick, at the university (where, once, long ago, when I was a pup, I taught philosophy). No doubt, thousands will apply for this rare chance. One small note of interest: I am being lodged at the Hilton and this is during the Canadian women’s curling championship, which is town that week. I anticipate an uproarious and sleepless stay. Looking forward to it.

I’ll be reading from Savage Love the night before.


This three-hour workshop will feature three craft lessons on writing short fiction, with the expectation that each participant will produce three short pieces of text during the workshop to share with other participants.

Cost: free for students and $20 for non-students. To register, contact Margaret Anne Smith at msmith@unb.ca.

Date: March 20, 7-10pm.

Building: Ward Chipman Building

Room Number: Faculty Staff Lounge

Contact:Margaret Anne Smith 1506 648 5707; msmith@unb.ca

via Writing Workshop with Douglas Glover-SJ | UNB.

Feb 242014

Savage Love Cover


DG aka Douglas Glover aka moi will be reading scorching satire, tender love stories and dirty bits from Savage Love at the University of King’s College in Halifax, March 13, 7 pm, in the Senior Common Room (Arts & Administration Building). The reading is hosted by the King’s Coop Bookstore. The evening promises the usual rabelaisian travesties and indecorous moments often associated with dg readings. The author will take questions from the audience but cannot be held responsible for anything he says.

Reading: March 13th (Thursday), 7 pm

Place: Senior Common Room, Arts & Administration Building, University of Kings College, Halifax

Address: 6350 Coburg Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 2A1

dg and Lucy at Lawrencetown Beach in Nova Scotia

dg and Lucy at Lawrencetown Beach outside of Halifax

Jan 312014


Whiling away some hours in the library, I started pulling down works I loved in the days of my youth. This is from Ray Smith’s novel The Lord Nelson Tavern.


…When the course began, Ti-Paulo said:

“I am serious painter and this is a serious course.  I don’t give a sweet fuck about your souls or how much you want to express them. Each drawing is a work of art. It is a complex problem of form, tone, composition, line, volume. You will learn to see these problems; you will learn solutions. The more solutions you learn, the better you will be able to express yourself, maybe.”

To the model, he said:

“Take off.”

The model took her robe off.

“Assume a pose.”

To the students he said:

“That is a nude woman. You will get something of her and of yourself onto the piece of white paper which is before you.  For the next two hours that paper contains your heaven and your hell. You will therefore treat it with due respect, firstly by addressing it properly, so….”

He held out his pencil toward it at arms length and said, “Hello paper.”

The students addressed their papers. Ti-Paulo grunted his approval and the course was launched.

—Ray Smith, The Lord Nelson Tavern.

Jan 212014

Len Falkenstein & Mark Anthony JarmanLen Falkenstein & Mark Anthony Jarman

The University of New Brunswick faculty strike is still on! Jeff Picka of the Mathematics Department took this photo of NC multi-contributor Mark Anthony Jarman (my roomie, with the beard) and playwright Len Falkenstein in the English Department. This was over the weekend. Much colder now. I was talking to guys on the line this afternoon; they had icicles hanging from their beards. No negotiations; nothing new.


Jan 202014

harold-bloomvia Artmark

Here’s an interview I taped with Harold Bloom in 1994 after the publication of his book The Western Canon: The Books and Schools of the Ages. As with some earlier interviews I have posted here, this comes from a box of tapes in my basement, dating from a time when I produced a weekly radio interview show. I talked to Bloom shortly after the birth of my son Jonah (I mention thinking about The Western Canon while sleepily trying to find his mouth with a bottle) and I was tired and nervous, hence my annoying lisp in the opening sentences.

This is a fascinating and touching interview, which starts with a evocation of the “belatedness” of the Modern, the sense that we have come too late, that the great ones have preceded us. Bloom calls himself a “last stand aesthete,” “a solitary and passionate reader,” and castigates “the ideology of the camp of resentment, which is against imaginative art,” tracing it back not to Marx or Freud but to Plato’s argument against Homer. This was at the peak of the great ideological and canonical debates that swept English departments in the 80s and 90s, a debate that has somewhat died away (as have many English departments) in the aftermath (or afterthought). But Bloom’s easily-worn erudition and his love of books soon lead us to a less tendentious and more personal plane of discussion. We move on to the writer’s relationship to the canon, the idea of competition and contest in art, Nietzsche’s strong writer, and the role of misreading of the ancestor work in the creation of art. Bloom asks, “How, after all, does one become a good writer?” Then he answers the question. And he ends with a beautiful riff on what a reader/critic should ask of a text: not what did the writer hope to accomplish for himself or herself, but what he or she hoped to accomplish as a writer.


Interview with Harold Bloom Part I

Interview with Harold Bloom Part II

Jan 122014

This is exciting and nothing I bargained for when I bargained for the Writer-in-Residence job at the University of New Brunswick, but it seems possible/probable (you never know with negotiations) that the faculty bargaining unit at the university will go on strike tomorrow. At noon, I think. As Writer-in-Residence, I am betwixt and between; I am not a member of the bargaining unit and thus am not going on strike. But, of course, Mark Jarman and Rob Gray (NC at the Movies), my roomies on Waterloo Row, and many other friends will be on the picket line.

I have been getting emails and instructions. (And, really, I may have some of this wrong.) It seems that if the strike proceeds, the university email system will shut down (at noon). I am getting a flurry of emails from colleagues sending me alternate email addresses. This got me excited; I started sending out alternate email addresses myself. I’m going underground.

I’ve been instructed that, though the faculty is on strike, my classes will continue (this was a general instruction to non-faculty faculty, temporary instructors, etc.). This doesn’t really affect me since I don’t conduct classes; I only have meetings with students and members of the public in my office on campus. I was also told that I should be able to cross the picket line without any trouble but that I didn’t have to cross the picket line if I felt threatened or in danger. There is a lengthy instruction sheet about this. I have visions of large scale labour violence based on too many Hollywood movies. The video at the top is from John Sayles Matewan. The one below is the trailer for The Molly Maguires.

I mean my humour here to be gently ironic and not disrespectful. I am mostly surprised at the turn of events. I used to belong to a journalists’ union when I worked at the Montreal Star (in ancient times), and I recall the pleasant sense of security it gave me to be affiliated with a large group of people and colleagues who took my working rights seriously. I wish all my friends well.

Here is Rob’s Twitter feed. @rw_gray

And here is his Facebook wall.

Here’s the AUNBT Facebook Page (a good place for keeping up).

Here’s the AUNBT site.

And here’s the Community Support Page on Facebook.


Jan 032014

Savage Love Cover

Savage Love, by Douglas Glover: “If there were any doubts that Douglas Glover is one of Canada’s best prose writers, then Savage Love will surely extinguish them. The fact that this collection braids so many modalities, so many tonalities, together into a cohesive whole speaks to the author’s immense talent. These stories are skillful yet breathless, and deserve any and all accolades that may come their way.” Review forthcoming in Canadian Notes & Queries.

via Free Range Reading.

Dec 272013

Savage Love Cover

Best of 2013

Savage Love by Douglas Glover (Goose Lane Editions) Shuttling from the 19th century to the present, and running from a brief five lines to a sprawling 50 pages, the stories in Glover’s collection are stylistic marvels, testing the tensile nature of language as they explore the more outré – and, yes, savage – aspects of love in all its forms. This was, hands down, the best book I read in 2013.

via Shortcuts: Things Withered, and Someone Somewhere | National Post.

Dec 272013

Savage Love Cover

Douglas Glover, the mad genius of Can Lit, came out with Savage Love, a grab bag of everything the form can do, in turns hilarious, intriguing and truly chilling. Intellectual pleasures abound just by recognizing the playful way Glover gives the nod to Borges, Thomas Bernhard, Cormac McCarthy. But Glover also seizes your soul. At the end of Tristiana, his McCarthyesque tale of a 19th century murderous duo roaming the American West, I scrawled in pencil, “I will never recover…”

via Globe Books 2013: Long story short, it was a remarkable year for short fiction – The Globe and Mail.

Dec 242013

Savage Love Cover


Douglas Glover (Goose Lane)

This was supposed to be the year of the short story, but these brilliant tales – often brutal, always beautiful – were criminally ignored by prize juries. The last story, Pointless, Incessant Barking In The Night, is one of the best I’ve read in years. What’s the matter, jurors, too much to handle?

via Susan G. Cole’s Top 10 Books | NOW Magazine.

Dec 162013

Savage Love Cover

Savage Love by Douglas Glover (Goose Lane)

The best book of 2013 you probably never heard of. How such a terrific collection of short fiction, perhaps the liveliest and most exciting yet from this master of the form, slipped under the big prize radar is a mystery.

via Books for the holidays: 15 of the most intriguing of 2013 | Toronto Star.

Dec 142013

This is a scholarly essay about two short stories of mine that I only just now noticed is available online. (Many academic journals, lately, seem to be adopting a new openness to readership that can’t help but be a good thing.) It appears in a journal called Studies in Canadian Literature (one of the editors, John Ball, has an office just down the hall from my Writer-in-Residence office at the University of New Brunswick). The stories are “My Romance” (about the baby dying and the husband having an affair with his wife’s OB/GYN and then trying to kill the monkey) and “Iglaf and Swan” (about a pair of artsy writers who manage, via self-obsession, to drive their daughter to tattoos and suicide). The stories are in my books 16 Categories of Desire and the U.S. collection Bad News of the Heart. The author, Adam Beardsworth, is an astute and intuitive reader of my work, none better. He is especially good at parsing the philosophical ideas that underpin my very strange plots.


THEORIZING THE AMBIGUOUS RELATIONSHIP between desire and experience, Jean-Paul Sartre realized desire’s precarious, if not paradoxical dependence upon the tension between presence and absence: desire’s very insatiability testifies to its origins beyond objective conciliation. It is upon this philosophical premise that Douglas Glover hinges his short stories “My Romance” and “Iglaf and Swan.” In both stories, Glover explores the epistemological problems that arise when those objects that we desire most are traumatically displaced only to reveal the lack that lies at the core of being. Reluctant to revel in post-modern incertitude, Glover’s stories demonstrate a compelling movement from a confrontation with desire and nothingness, to a realization that the only redeeming desire, however ephemeral, is that which one finds in an “other,” or in the recognition of a mutually intrinsic desire for the infinite in one’s object of love. Demonstrating a concern with the proximity between the compulsion to satisfy sensual appetite and the inclination towards linguistic expression, Glover allows his exploration of longing to extend beyond the parameters of his narrative and into the realm of allegory. From the self-reflexive title “My Romance,” with its coy allusion to both narrator and author, to Iglaf and Swan’s tragic conflation of the desire for the other with the will for literary acumen, Glover’s stories foreground an ostensible preoccupation with the link between desire, art, and death. Recognizing language as central to all experience, Glover, in “My Romance” and “Iglaf and Swan,” allegorically invokes writing as a medium compelled by insatiable desire, a manifestation of our human impulse to objectively inscribe our fascination with the pure loss, death, trauma, and love at the limits of human experience.

Read the rest at Romancing the “Mysterious Bonds of Syntax”: Allegory and the Ethics of Desire in Douglas Glover’s “My Romance” and “Iglaf and Swan” | Adam Beardsworth | Studies in Canadian Literature / Études en littérature canadienne.

Dec 132013

NC Logo

End-of-the-year praise for NC from Daniel Davis Wood, who teaches in Switzerland and is the editor of a recent collection of essays by Edward P. Jones. Wood also praises Music & Literature, which is edited by my former student Taylor Davis-Van Atta (also an NC contributor now and then).


Douglas Glover’s Número Cinq, online since 2010, was a wonderful new discovery for me this year…. Most impressive about Número Cinq is the material being collected in its Book of Literary Craft, especially Jason Lucarelli’s two long pieces on the aesthetic legacy of Gordon Lish (one, two) which led to an equally impressive discussion on that subject between Lucarelli, David Winters, and Greg Gerke, available at The Literarian.

via End-of-Year Pleasures and One Disappointment | Infinite Patience.

Dec 112013

Savage Love Cover

But I have to give it up to Douglas Glover for Savage Love, if only because it’s such a showcasing of why short fiction exists and what writers can do with the form. The stories are punchy, experimental, daring, dark, and funny in ways a novel or a poem cannot be. Oh, and they’re also really damn good. You’ll laugh, be appalled, cringe, and cringe, and cringe. — Chad Pelly

via ShortLitCrit’s Favourite Short Story Collections of 2013 | FOUND PRESS.

Dec 072013

Heading home after the first semester as Writer-in-Residence at the University of New Brunswick. I’ve been living at Mark Anthony Jarman‘s house just across the street from the Saint John River in Fredericton, about a 10-minute walk from the campus, also a 10-minute drive from the university’s research woodlot where I walk the dog often. R. W. Gray lives just down the third-floor hall from me. Both Mark and Rob have new books of stories coming out. According to legend, the house is built on property once owned by Benedict Arnold. Photos by dg, maj & ch.


DSCF6934From the back

DSCF7031Up to the third floor where dg lives

DSCF7028Third floor sunlight, R. W. Gray’s door on left

DSCF7030Second floor landing looking out on Waterloo Row and the river

More dawg (Lucy) 087The house dawg

DSCF7032Second floor hallway

DSCF7037Living room and TV room beyond, new pellet stove at far right

Lucy & ClarissaLucy and Clarissa

Lucy and FifiLucy and Fifi

DSCF6893MAJ and Clarissa

DSCF6880Lu in the university woodlot


Clarissa and LucyLu and Clarissa’s shoes

Dec 062013

dg and Lucy at Lawrencetown Beach in Nova Scotia

The Fiddlehead is one of the grand old Canadian institutions, a literary magazine that first published in 1945, that published me regularly back in the days when I was a young strip of a writer just starting out (in those days the fiction was edited by Kent Thompson and  Roger Ploude). Now Ross Leckie is the editor; his office in the English Department at the University of New Brunswick is just down that hall from mine. Mark Anthony Jarman and Gerard Beirne are the fiction editors; the summer fiction issue has become a major publishing event of the year under their inspired leadership.


Introducing the Judges for The Fiddlehead’s 23rd Annual Literary Contest

The Fiddlehead‘s annual literary contest is now closed, and we’re pleased to announce this year’s fabulous judges.

Fiction Judge
Douglas Glover
Douglas Glover’s newest book, a collection of short stories called Savage Love, appeared in the fall of 2013. He has won the Governor General’s Award for his novel Elle as well as the Rogers Writers’ Trust Timothy Findley Award for his body of work. He edited Best Canadian Stories from 1996 to 2006. He teaches in the MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and is the current Writer-in-Residence at the University of New Brunswick. He edits the international online arts magazine Numéro Cinq.

via The Fiddlehead Blog: Introducing the Judges for The Fiddlehead’s 23rd Annual Literary Contest.

Dec 012013


Just so you know, the Saint John Free Public Library event last night was a blast (too bad for all of you who missed the chartered buses out of Boston, New York and Toronto). When I arrived at the door a couple of hours early to check things out, there was a SOLD OUT ribbon across the poster. I was told they could have sold an extra 50 tickets. I have never been party to a SOLD OUT event in my life.

There was food and wine and beer. The beer was a special one-of-a-kind whiskey pale ale invented by Big Tide Brewing Company brewmeister Wendy Papadopoulos for the occasion — it was called Three Pages to the Wind (I am certain now that this is the reason for the SOLD OUT sign). I naturally started out the evening resolutely insisting that I could not drink because I was going to have to drive back to Fredericton through the moose-haunted dark highways of New Brunswick after. But then someone said the magic words “whiskey pale ale” once too often and I am afraid I succumbed.

Then the Saint John String Quartet started to play and I discovered the truly zen experience of sitting in a library with books all around and a glass of whiskey pale ale in my hand and four lovely people playing stringed instruments for me (I dunno, everyone else seemed to be talking). They played for 45 minutes which, you know, required a second whiskey pale ale and then Wendy Papadopoulos got up and gave an entertaining talk on how she came to invent Three Pages to the Wind (which was, really, so entertaining — the woman is a genius — that I could have listened to it again as there was still beer left).

And THEN I was called up to read from Savage Love, which, was a little frightening because there were three steps up to the lectern and I wasn’t sure by then that I could navigate them. I was told after that I performed creditably and several nice people bought books to make me feel better. Later there was some helpful confusion (no doubt due to the prevalence of whiskey pale ale); I was given clear instructions on how to navigate (I have used the word “navigate” twice — the whole idea of navigation had become problematic for me at this stage) out of the city though somehow I got lost driving out of the parking garage and took ages to find my way back onto the moose-infested highway (I think I was using some sort of echolocation technique at the end).

Of all my reading experiences lately this was the best — what I remember of it. And the words “whiskey pale ale” are forever burned into my brain.


Nov 292013

Savage Love Cover

A collection of stories contemplating the vastly different types of love. Don’t expect soppy sentimentality: These wildly creative tales reflect the ferocity of love, how the unexpected, forbidden, illicit and illegal play out on our psyches, how love begins and what is left when it abandons us.

via Chatelaine Book Club: Best books of 2013 by Books Editor Laurie Grassi.

Nov 262013

Books of the Year

Savage Love Cover

Okay, for sheer outrageous panache (“the Gordian Knit, the Holy Trinity…” and me) this might be one of the best sound bites so far. Re. my obscurity: Luckily, I am not alone in the world. My dog still recognizes me. Although, okay, she is not much of a reader. Her favourite character in literature is Spot.


Certain mysteries abide in this world: the Gordian Knot, the Holy Trinity, and the literary obscurity of Douglas Glover. Over the course of a career spanning three and a half decades, Glover has produced some of the most stylish, adventurous fiction this country has ever seen, and yet he seems to be continually passed over for recognition (a 2003 Governor General’s Literary Award for his historical novel Elle notwithstanding). The reason for this oversight is frankly inexplicable, outside of a general nervousness when confronted with technically brilliant fiction.

Read the rest at Quill & Quire » Savage Love by Douglas Glover (Goose Lane Editions).

Nov 262013

Savage Love CoverI particularly like “not for the squeamish.” There should be a Surgeon General’s Warning label on my books. “The book may be injurious if taken in large doses. Keep out the reach of children and small furry animals. May cause irreparable psychic harm if you don’t have a sense of humour.”


Glover is a frank and bold writer. His stories are not for the squeamish and can be difficult to read at times but if a reader wants an honest understanding into the dark elements of the human psyche, he is the perfect writer.

via Review: Savage Love by Douglas Glover. (2013) Goose Lane Editions