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In the tradition of the Paris Review, The Notebooks is an exciting collection of original short fiction and in-depth interviews from Canada’s most celebrated and innovative young writers.
A provocative examination of the writer’s life in the twenty-first century, The Notebooks charts a new direction in Canadian literature. It brings together a unique collection of accomplished fiction, ranging from the classic storytelling of Michael Redhill to the more experimental style of Lynn Crosbie. In his keenly observed story “Seratonin,” Russell Smith captures the sensuous pleasures and dizzying energy of the rave scene. “Big Trash Day,” a hybrid of fiction and poetry by Esta Spalding, is a devastating commentary on poverty and a striking portrait of the shorthand that develops within intimate relationships. In a sample from a novel-in-progress, Yann Martel shares the process through which rough sketches become realized characters, and disparate moments become fleshed-out scenes.
The interviews, remarkable for their honesty and insight, bring us into the writer’s world, revealing the passion and inspiration that motivates these young writers, as well as the hardships they endure in pursuit of their art. By asking thoughtful and probing questions, Michelle Berry and Natalee Caple elicit frank and intriguing details of how writers work, structure their days, and order their physical space to facilitate the act of writing. Many of the authors here explore the impact of technological innovation and mass culture on contemporary fiction, as well as the influence of various art forms on the way they imagine stories. The writers in The Notebooks speak candidly about their political engagement, their passion for writing, and their desire to produce art that will last.
Contributors: Catherine Bush, Eliza Clark, Lynn Coady, Lynn Crosbie, Steven Heighton, Yann Martel, Derek McCormack, Hal Niedzviecki, Andrew Pyper, Michael Redhill, Eden Robinson, Russell Smith, Esta Spalding, Michael Turner, R.M. Vaughan, Michael Winter, Marnie Woodrow
"These seventeen writers come from different backgrounds, different parts of the country, have different lifestyles, and write very different kinds of fiction, yet the connections between them are still plentiful. As a group they are highly engaged with the world around them, politically sophisticated, intelligent, modest about their potential success, and passionate about the act of writing. We hope that The Notebooks inspires an ongoing discussion with young writers at work and answers some of the silent questions that readers have longed to ask." -- From the Introduction