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book bonanza – another story bookshop

December 22, 2011

today i went to another story bookshop (click on that, it’s a link) in toronto. because i had received a FIFTY DOLLAR GIFT CERTIFICATE (!@!#%$!!hjdkjafsdsyahooligans!) for saint nicholas day. anyway, the bookstore was interesting and lovely, as bookstores always are. it wasn’t necessarily my scene – because there were no classics. i really wanted another findley novel – or one by cormac mccarthy – or one by william faulkner. this bookstore mirrored a sentiment that i had heard during the mfa at ubc – “if the author’s dead, he’s not worth reading.” and the poetry section was tres petite and on a bottom shelf, so i was crawling on my hands and knees to explore.

so i was pushed out of one comfort zone (old or dead men who write about violence with lots of adjectives) and into a new one (contemporary literature. ah!)

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deedle deedle!

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i was very fortunate to pick up rm vaughan’s troubled – which i had heard him read years back when carolyn smart got him to come and read for our creative writing class at queen’s. he also proofread one of the first (read: 14 page) drafts of my thesis, which was incredibly kind of him to do, and so i have always wanted the book (which is about his affair with his (married, male) psychiatrist) and now i have it. i also picked up swamplandia! (why? i don’t know. the title stood out in my brain. someone in the program had mentioned it before) and sarah by jt leroy. that was a rec from one of the staff there, after i had asked her for a “messy, adjective-laden mix of a book between cormac mccarthy and timothy findley. but new, i suppose.”

anyway, i have lots to read and report on, and apparently now i also have a whole new city of bookstores to explore and report back on, as well. and might i add that it was a weird pleasure to walk down the shelves and see names and say “that’s my thesis advisor. i met that guy at a bar. i met that guy at another bar. she edited one of my first ever workshopped poems. he edited my application to ubc. i met her at a christmas party.” i feel so blessed to have been thrust into this writing world, and to actually know some of the people behind the titles! (cheesy. but true).

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