I was asked to contribute to the Georgia Straight’s supplement for WORD Vancouver, and talk a little about a book that changed my life. I chose Thomas King’s Massey Lecture series, The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative.
Very excited to say that Bad Endings is a finalist for the City of Vancouver book award. The other finalists are Gabrielle Prendergast’s Pandas on the Eastside (Orca), Invisible Dead by Sam Wiebe (Random House), and Susan Point: Spindle Whorl, a collection of her work by Kathleen Bartels (Black Dog). So I am in very good company!
It’s a huge honour for this little book to be following in the footsteps of some hardworking and wonderful writers I admire, like Wayde Compton, Jen Sookfong Lee, Elee Kraljii Gardiner, Billeh Nickerson, Doretta Lau, Amber Dawn, Aaron Chapman, and a whole bunch of local peeps!
Hey, I’m judging the Malahat Review Open Season awards this year, (fiction) along with Evelyn Lau (poetry) and Betsy Warland (non-fic). So send them your stuff!
What a thing to wake up to! I’m so happy to be included on this list with a bunch of talented writers!
Wow, this is more of a deep read than a review, and it took my breath away. It’s an honour to have someone look at my writing this thoroughly. Many thanks to Aaron and The Rusty Toque!
“In these stories, Baker wrestles with the unresolvable problems of life. She doesn’t offer solutions, escapes or easy resolutions. Instead, she probes the tangles at the heart of her characters, revealing with grace and precision the contours of their difficult lives. And, in the end, Bad Endings make for great stories.”
As someone who has been writing reviews for the Globe for a few years, I can’t deny I’ve been dreaming about one day seeing my work reviewed there. I really appreciate the way Jade Colbert brought a discussion of theory and politics into her review, because it’s there, but I was worried these things might get lost in the whirlwind of messiness and emotion I was also trying to create. So many thanks to Colbert and Globe Books, for giving Bad Endings some page space!
“Baker pushes readers to reconsider their desire for resolution. Eschewing the easy, the neat, the smoothed over, allows us to consider the things about ourselves we might not like. There’s a political dimension to this. One thread running through this book is the threat of environmental collapse – drought, massive bee death, dwindling salmon stock – and humans’ awkward interventions.”
Reading Francine Cunningham’s Complex 2675 reminded me of Twin Peaks: dark and surreal, with high emotional stakes edging on satire, and intense visuals. I was so taken by how visual the piece was, I contacted Cunningham (who is also a talented visual artist) to see if she was interested in providing illustrations for the story. I thought we could present Complex 2675 in a serialized format, with new episodes (or “issues”) every week for four weeks, giving readers the opportunity to revisit the lives of Mary, Gerry, Sarah, and other residents of an apartment building where everyone spends way too much time thinking about themselves or nosing around in each other’s business (so kind of like real life then). I recommend reading it with the slow pacing those old nineties TV shows had, and a sense of weird foreboding.