Feb 132015

Savage Love PB cover2 small

Here’s a belated, adulatory little review of my book Savage Love, which came out in the fall of 2013. But in keeping with the buzz about my complete anonymity (“the most eminent unknown Canadian writer alive” — Maclean’s Magazine) the reviewer, a Canadian, only recently heard about me through “an American friend.” What I have come to realize is that a lot of reviewers seek to explain their own inattention (not reading Glover) by a) generalizing the inattention (no one reads Glover) and b) blaming me (Glover is unknown). Reviewers who take this tack mean well. They want to create a narrative that might make more people read me. But at the same time it’s a bit of a tired conceit, and I wish they’d just pay attention to the book.

The reviewer also creates confusion by, I think (though maybe he meant it), mixing up two Spanish words, cojones (balls) and cajones (drawers, as in desk drawers). No doubt, by the time a few of you have read this, the magazine editors will have rushed to fix the error (as I say, if it is an error). But for the moment the reviewer says I have “serious drawers.” It’s so priceless I screenshot it.


I shouldn’t make fun. God knows, at NC we have cheerfully committed some atrocious blunders (if I had a dollar for every time we spelled an author’s name wrong….). It’s a nice review, and I am grateful for a good reader. And one day I will be remembered as “that writer with the two large desk drawers between his legs.”


Savage Love is, in my view (and without hyperbole) a master-class in the short fiction form….Glover’s got serious cajones [sic]. I can’t think of another collection this audacious, this willing to alienate its readership by taking us to the edge of our comfort levels….If Freud’s right and life’s all about eros and thanatos, sex and a lust for death, then Glover’s collection can also be called a master-class in the human condition.

Read the rest at Writings / Reviews: Andrew MacDonald | Maple Tree Literary Supplement – Issue 18.

Oct 232014

© 2014 Open Space Arts Society. All rights reservedDouglas Glover reading at Open Space Gallery, Victoria. Photo by Miles Giesbrecht.


I hate to inundate you with all this stuff from my Victoria trip, but you all know I don’t get out much and hence my tendency to hyperventilate if I get over the county line. Here’s a the recording of my reading from Savage Love at the Open Space Gallery in Victoria. The art work behind me is by Tommy Ting and Dong-Kyoon Nam. The story is called “Pointless, Incessant Barking in the Night.” The reading is preceded by an introduction by my gracious hostess, who gives all the particulars of the event.


Oct 202014

DSCF9318At the end of the Victoria trip, dg spent an afternoon with the Coast Salish master carver Charles W. Elliott in his studio at the Tsarlip First Nation Reserve on the Saanich Peninsula north of the city. Above is a thunderbird atop of a Charles Elliott totem pole  in front of the ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ Tribal High School just down the road from the studio.

DSCF9299Charles W. Elliott holding a print he designed as a symbol for the University of Victoria Indigenous Governance program.

Still processing this visit. Charles Elliott is an amazingly generous and intelligent artist, very articulate and personable. He took a lot of time to describe what he does. Coast Salish art is a formalist invention (which, naturally, makes is tremendously interesting to me) — he called it the Salish “system” — that involves the use of a finite set of motifs (e.g. thunderbird, raven, orca, etc.) and design elements (eyes, bracket shapes, lanceolate shapes, etc.). Often the smaller formal elements are fitted into a larger form that derives from a utilitarian space (house fronts, paddles, spoons, bowls, etc.). The print above, for example, is circular, a shape derived from the spindle whorl used by the native women to process wool. The artist fits larger motifs into the overall form and then fills the blank spaces with either smaller versions of a motif (or in inversion) or with repetitions of the abstract design elements. For example, the thunderbird wings contain eyes, brackets and lanceolate shapes. Beneath the thunderbird is an orca, and you can see the bracket shapes used down the whale’s back. The idea, Elliott says, is to bring the spaces “to life.” The large motifs refer to legends, myths, and powers (also, in some cases, clan and social organization elements), so they carry story and meaning to the viewer. But at the same time there is a purely design aspect to the art, a pleasing abundance and vivacity of structure. What’s truly interesting is how the abstract design elements can be used to imply naturalistic details (see the shins on the thunderbird’s legs).


Here’s the school front. Note the repetition of the structure: thunderbird on top of the pole, thunderbird on the from wall of the building, and the structure of the building as a whole is a thunderbird with wings. What you can’t see from the angle is that before the front door is an entryway in the shape of a bird again. To get into the school, students pass beneath the thunderbird’s wings. Also not the bracket shapes along the roof  line. And then think what a lively public art form this is.


DSCF9281This is Elliott’s studio with a huge ocean-going dugout canoe made of old growth cedar, a work in progress. On the left is the base of a new totem pole.

DSCF9282Studio again. Note the Che Guevara image, one of several, in the studio, also mentioned by Elliott. You can’t forget that the natives are a colonized and dispossessed people who wake up every morning and look around and see commuters racing up the highway to a city that covers the land that was once theirs spiritually and economically, land they never gave away in any sense proper to their own culture and way of thinking. Put yourself in their shoes. As Elliott said, it’s as if there is a constant cloud or blanket of colonization over the natives. How they could they forget and be pleased?

DSCF9297Little things all over the studio. Here’s a spinning fish lure in the shape of an octopus, the legs scalloped with those bracket patterns. Everything comes to life in this art world, inanimate objects, utilitarian objects.

DSCF9284So here’s a bronze spindle whorl (traditionally they were made of wood) made by Elliott’s 19-year-old son, Chas Elliott, who is learning the art from his father and brought this over to show us. If I remember correctly this is a seal (but I heard so much I might be misremembering). Mouth in the spindle opening. Flippers or paws to the side. Flippers accented with eye and bracket and lanceolate shapes. Here’s a link to show where both father and son appeared a couple of years ago.

DG with a “talking stick” (you would hand this to someone who would then hold the floor whole others listened). By now you should be able to distinguish some of the motifs and design elements.

DSCF9229Outside the studio looking at a totem pole in for repair after about 20 years in the field. Totem poles don’t last forever, obviously. This one needs to be shaved down to fresh wood and repainted. And there is some rot at the top that needs digging out and a plug put in. A sad thing is that native carvers like Elliott can only work with old growth timber. For some reason, the old growth trees grew slower, their tree rings are much closer together, and the wood is harder and more durable. Newer trees seem to grow faster (perhaps because they get more light), the rings are farther apart and the wood between is “punky.” There is hardly any old growth timber left. I won’t go on. This is just a taste of the visit with Elliott, an immense privilege, not to mention fascinating; I could go on and on.

—DG, photos mostly by MF

Oct 122014

DSCF8995Surprisingly, there are great swathes of clear cut forest all along the coastal road in the west. Sometimes the lumber companies leave a thin screen of trees along the road and sometimes not. Depressing to see. Most of the logs go straight to China these days.

DSCF9036Sombrio Beach (photo by MF). Behind us, makeshift tents and campsites occupied by surfers trying to dry out in the dense mist.

DSCF9135The Juan de Fuca Trail near Sombrio Beach.

IMG_2248DG at the University of Victoria First Peoples House as a guest of Taiaiake Alfred and the Indigenous Governance department, talking to grad students and faculty in the program. Not a great photo and dg looks particularly self-important, perhaps conducting a symphony, but it’s the only one and it preserves the moment.

First Peoples HouseHere’s the hall (without people). Amazing place modeled on the traditional Coast Salish long house.

tshirtTaiaiake Alfred presented dg with a coveted Indigenous Nationhood Movement tshirt, which meant a lot.

DSCF9172Harbor seal off the marina wharf in Mill Bay. They were playing all along the coast, some far out and diving with dramatic tail slaps. At Mill Bay we heard the tail slaps, saw loons and a kingfisher and then a bald eagle zoomed close overhead, all in about five minutes. DG stopped mentioning the seals to the locals because it marked him as a greenhorn.

DSCF9186Cow Bay, a touristified, single-street, old village on the coast, organic foods, organic baked goods, and one store that sold liquor and tools.

DSCF9214This is the so-called butter church on Comiaken Hill in the Cowichan Reserve, Cowichan Bay in the background to the right. Abandoned, it was the first church in the area, an ancient-looking chapel, on a hill that feels lonely, mysterious and sacred, empty grass field to the left where people were once buried, though most of the markers are down, one lone oak tree, low mountains all around except in the direction of the bay. Also a place of ill-memory because of treaties signed nearby in the 1850s. The church was built in 1870 with the help of natives who were paid with money earned from the sale of butter. Apparently.


DSCF9192St. Anne’s Church, just down the road from the butter church. Back in Victoria we had run into an ancient beekeeper who said his great- or great-great-grandfather was Chief George Tzouhalem of the Cowichan band. An Irishman who fought with Pickett at Gettysburg apparently came up the coast and married the chief’s 15-year-old daughter — this was the beekeeper’s line. He said to drive up to this place because old chief Tzouhalem is buried here and his grand-daughter bought a pink granite plinth and had it raised over the grave.  We walked all through this sombre place and finally, yes, did discover the plinth, raised by the grand-daughter Ettie George, just as the beekeeper had said. He had known Ettie and had stories.



DSCF9191Christianity is dissipating perhaps. The crosses all over the graveyard were mostly temporary markers. Occasionally, there was something more indicative of a different way of being. Later, I got to talk to a man who makes the grave markers, a social role passed down through his family, and he said the crosses are just places to put names now, not signs of belief. Alarming number of fresh graves in every native graveyard, signs of hard lives, poverty and the depression that goes with being a dispossessed and colonized people.

Oct 102014

© 2014 Open Space Arts Society. All rights reservedReading at Open Space Gallery, Victoria.

© 2014 Open Space Arts Society. All rights reservedPhoto credit: Miles Giesbrecht. Artists’ works: Tommy Ting (London), Dong-Kyoon Nam (Winnipeg).

DSCF8947Mist on the water. Strait of Juan de Fuca near Sooke.

DSCF9024DG on Sombrio Beach.

DSCF9150Port Renfrew otters (just before we saw the bear).

DSCF8791First Nations exhibit, Royal BC Museum.

DSCF8764Douglas Street.

DSCF8742The bookstore founded by Alice Munro and her first husband.

DSCF8907Breakwater (dark by the time dg got to the end).

Sep 112014

Open Word: Readings and Ideas: Douglas Glover

Artist: Douglas Glover
Reading and interview with local writer: Wednesday, October 8, 2014, at 7:30 p.m.
Genre: Literary

Douglas Glover will read from his new book, Savage Love. He is the author of five story collections, four novels, and two books of essays. In 2007, he was given the Writers’ Trust of Canada Timothy Findley Award for an author in mid-career. His novel Elle won the 2003 Governor-General’s Award for Fiction and was a finalist for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Glover teaches in the MFA in Writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. He publishes and edits the online magazine Numéro Cinq.

Glover’s reading is sponsored by the University of Victoria’s Department of Writing Orion Series in the Fine Arts.

via Open Word: Readings and Ideas: Douglas Glover | Open Space.

May 082014

Here’s a little onstage interview I did at Wordfest in Calgary last fall when I was out promoting Savage Love. As you can clearly see, I got myself into trouble talking about copulas and copulate. Sometimes, I think I shouldn’t be let out of my cage and allowed to roam at will. It’s not safe. But the interviewer’s reaction when I start to talk about sex is priceless. One of the disappointments is that you can’t hear the audience laughing. The audience had a good deal of fun with this.


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.

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 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 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 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 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 042013

Butane Anvil

Savage Love Cover

Butane Anvil, aka Amber Homeniuk, is a friend from Norfolk County where I grew up. She’s also a chicken-owner and expert who advises my mother on her flock. She likes to dress up and take pictures. She also writes poems — see a selection we published on NC. Re. insomnia — it seems to be going around these days.

I dunno. I love that name, Butane Anvil. I wish I had thought of it.


An exceptional read this fall was Savage Love by highly esteemed Canadian author and my friend Douglas Glover. In contrast to the aforementioned extremely terrible yet effectively soporific vampire novels, the stories in Savage Love more easily encourage a deliciously unsettling insomnia as they tend to stick to the ribs, or in many cases between them, being keen-edged with interpersonal horror, levity, and relentless skewering.

via Butane Anvil: And Its Heart So Savage.

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

Nov 172013


Hmmmmmm. My kind of event. I hope I get past the beer tasting to my reading. It’ll be touch and go. It could be a wild reading. I’ll have to get someone to point me toward the audience (but who knows what condition the audience will be in?). So far I have not yet been asked to sit in with the String Quartet, but I expect an invitation at any moment. I don’t know what Beethoven is going to do, read from his new book? I hear he brings his own stein to these events and gets morose and quiet near the end and needs a cab ride home.

Actually, it will be fun to return to Saint John, scene of many youthful hijinks (I taught philosophy at the university campus there when I was 22 and then worked at the city daily, the Evening Times-Globe).


I used to haunt the great old Andrew Carnegie public library when I lived in Saint John, not the same building as I am going to read in unfortunately. But there is a ultra-brief sex scene snippet in my story “The Obituary Writer” that takes place in the stacks. You might want to look it up; it’s in my book A Guide to Animal Behaviour. Perfectly tasteful and not auto-biographical, I might add, as are all the scenes in my books. All I did at the library was read. That story, “The Obituary Writer,” is set in Saint John; the city becomes a character in the story in a sense. And also, of course, the name Numéro Cinq comes from that story.




Saint John Free Public Library, 1 Market Square, Saturday November 30

7:00 pm. An after-hours event. Words and music in celebration of the Library’s 130th anniversary. The Saint John String Quartet will be playing, Governor General Award winning author Douglas Glover (and Writer-in-Residence at the University of New Brunswick) is booked to do a reading from his new story collection Savage Love, and Big Tide is set to cater and supply a specially crafted beer. Tickets: $10 and include one drink and snacks. There will also be a silent auction. Tickets are available at Central, West, and East Branches of the SJFPL.