The idea of this blog is to facilitate the love of reading by collecting news about new books, or sometimes good old books. It is also dedicated to stamping out the scourge of e-books, Kindles, Kobo's, i-Pads, and all other such abominations.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Home Schooling by Carol Windley

If I had to choose the best book I have read in the last few months, it would be
Carol Windley's HOME SCHOOLING. Selected for the Giller Prize short list, it is an exceptional collection of seven short stories steeped in the landscape of Vancouver Island and the West Coast. --"Graeme made it as far as the ravine, a strange geological feature, an abruption cutting deep into the earth. He was looking down at huge moss-covered erratics, rocks deposited here centuries ago, at the end of the last ice age, and the luxuriant bracken fern, downed trees, mossy and rotten--nursery trees they were called--host to an astonishing variety of life forms: hemlock and maple seedlings, ferns and lichens and fungus.

The characters in these stories are in states of transition; families are in disarray often dealing with loss, upheaval and sometimes tragedy.

The story "What Saffi Knows" is remarkable. Saffi, 7 years old, is aware of a great tragedy. A young boy has disappeared and she has seen him hidden away. She is sure that her parents won't hear her if she tells them what she has seen and she also is aware that if she doesn't say what she knows, perhaps it might not be true.
As an adult, she comes to terms with the haunting memory through dreams.

Windley's stories are not without hope. Characters often find resolution, often in unexpected ways. The stories are beautifully crafted.

From The Globe and Mail:
"HOME SCHOOLING, is nothing short of an exceptional collction of beautiful words and resonant insights. Every single story is worthy of reading, and once read, returned to, whether for ambience or intelligence of thought and language, Carol Windley's gift with narrative and images give truly inspired meaning to "creative writing" "

Carol Windley was born in Tofino. She attended Chemainus Secondary and graduated from Malaspina College, where she later taught Creative Writing. She has worked as a radio station copywriter, and as a librarian. Her short stories have appeared in 1995: Best Canadian Short Stories (Oberon) and the fifth Journey Prize anthology. She won the first prize in CBC's Radio Literary Competition for the short story. Her first collection VISIBLE LIGHT (oolichan 1993) was shortlisted for a Governor General's Award, a BC Book Prize and won the Bumbershoot Weyerhauser Publication Award. One of her stosries set in the Pacific Northwest for HOME SCHOOLING, received the Western Magazine Award for Fiction in 2002. Windley lives in Nanaimo


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