Soili Smith’s Your Children Are Not Your Own pours out thick and slow. “Like molasses in winter” my mother would say, quoting her mother, and a million other mothers. Take your time with this story about mothers and fathers and siblings. Family, in all its aching imperfection. Its brutality will make you catch your breath, as will its pathos.
And speaking of breath, I suggest reading this story aloud. Your Children Are Not Your Own feels influenced by the oral storytelling tradition—something to be presented around a communal fire or, if it’s all you’ve got, the cold glow of your iPhone. I think Michael and Cherie would appreciate the contradiction.
Read Your Children Are Not Your Own on Joyland Vancouver
Enjoy, and many thanks to Soili Smith. Follow Soili on Twitter
In the introduction to the 20th anniversary edition, Van Camp reminisces about the first time he held the book in his hands: “There it was and I couldn’t take it back: I had fired an arrow of flaming light into the world and I had no idea who it would find.”
Read my review of Richard Van Camp’s The Lesser Blessed 20th Anniversary ed. in The Rusty Toque.
Surprise surprise, I haven’t even made my first post as a Joyland editor, and we’ve already decided Vancouver’s not big enough for me. So I’m expanding into the Prairies, and don’t forget the Territories! This means all you fiction writers from here to Winnipeg are now encouraged to send Joyland Vancouver-ish your work, including stories that are set in (or make reference to) these areas, even if you happen to live in Toronto.
I love dark humour, boundary-pushing, and satire. I love work that explores and/or has been influenced by oral storytelling traditions. Contemporary themes and mythic sensibilities. I like weird nature, the vaguely grotesque, the hilariously tragic. But most of all I like sharp, well-edited, professional submissions with a brief bio, so read the guidelines carefully and SUBMIT.