David French Talon Books, 1993 Library of Congress PR9199.3.F73S55 1993 | Dewey Decimal 812.54
Steve Marsh is a mystery writer, the protagonist of David French’s gripping thriller, Silver Dagger. Soon after his third novel is published, Marsh’s wife receives a series of phone calls and letters that threaten to destroy their marriage. Adultery, blackmail, murder, a figure lurking in the rain. All these classic elements of Marsh’s fiction soon become part of his life.
David French Talon Books, 2000 Library of Congress PR9199.3.F73T53 2000 | Dewey Decimal 812.54
It’s Memorial Day, 1990, and Margaret Ryan has returned from Vermont to the Ontario cottage country where, thirty-two years before, she had vacationed with her disintegrating family at a lakeside resort. For herself and her sister Daisy, it was a time of awakening, a time of discovery.
Both of the girls fall in love with two of the local boys. Daisy, on the lookout for action, cruising the dances at the resort, can’t deal with what she initiates, and falls victim to her own confusion and naivete;. Not even the neighbour, the eccentric, bourbon-drinking, cigar-smoking Mrs. Crump, who knows all the fairy-tale spells to capture the heart of a lover, can save Daisy from drowning in her own misadventure.
At the same time, Margaret, bookish and withdrawn, inhabiting a universe defined by poets and novelists, is seduced in spite of herself.
As Margaret, the narrator, watches Maggie, her younger self, relive the innocence and beauty of that summer, the play moves inexorably back to the heartbreak of a headlong surrender to experience, both won and lost in a single day.
Cinematic in its feel and pacing, recalling the 1950s genre of Dirty Dancing and My American Cousin, That Summer is a meditation on what endures of fleeting moments over time.
Mother of the Grass
Jovette Marchessault Talon Books, 1989 Library of Congress PQ3919.2.M2843M4613 1989 | Dewey Decimal 843
Born at the end of the first volume in this autobiographical trilogy, the little Jovette sets off on her journey across the Land of Permanent Sacrifice in Mother of the Grass. Wrenched from her childhood paradise on the banks of the St. Lawrence, she is plunged into the child-battering hell of working-class Montreal, then later into the despairing din of the factories where she worked as a teenager. Her spirit continues to yearn for the light and peace of her childhood by the riverside and this book chronicles her extraordinary journey through the artists’ cafes and gay bars, the bookstores, and the streets of Montreal in the 1950s and ’60s, sustained always by the memory of her grandmother, toward a place by the river where she can write and be. Mother of the Grass is at once a brutal portrait of a world dedicated to violence against women and children and a remarkable visionary account of the growth of a major Quebec feminist artist’s creative self.
This Tremor Love Is
Daphne Marlatt Talon Books, 2001 Library of Congress PR9199.3.M36T48 2001 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Daphne Marlatt’s latest book of poems is a memory book-an album of love poems spanning twenty-five years, from her first writing of what was to become the opening section, A Lost Book,” to later, most recent sequences.
These are love poems in the sense that in the meeting of our minds and bodies, we are actually tied to the earth, and how, with its turns and tremors, the world displays us, its lovers, dispassionately in all our tenuous and fleeting splendour: in the pull of desire, the ecstasy of union, the angst of loss and identity, the deterioration of recognition and affection.
A studied master of her craft, Marlatt weaves her motifs of departures and arrivals, the recurrence of wounds and loss, and the delight in what surrounds us and how we are drawn to reconnect with it time and again in an astonishing variety of notation, ranging from the prose poem to the spare image afloat on the glaring sea of the page.