"I didn't want people to read in the same way they might eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day, but because I wanted them to know the mind-expanding privilege of walking a mile in someone else's shoes." Cathy Rentzenbrink
Posts tagged "Canada"
You and the story

You and the story

Second-person narration, in which the author uses the pronoun ‘you’ to seemingly address the reader and draw them into the story, can be a bit of a high-wire balancing act. Or, to apply an analogy more suited to my West Coast background (I’ve never tried any circus stunts, let alone a high-wire act), writing in...
An ending

An ending

So, this is how your husband dies: not forty years from now, coughing, wilting, consumed from within by cancer, holding your hand, looking into your eyes, the irises reflecting a lifetime of companionship. Not twenty years from now, after the kids that you haven’t yet had grow up and leave home and no longer need...
Jini Reddy: Believing is seeing

Jini Reddy: Believing is seeing

There’s synchronicity at play as I emerge from lockdown and read Jini Reddy’s timely and entertaining Wainwright Prize-shortlisted travel guide Wanderland. Though, to be fair, travel guide is too simplistic a description. It’s autobiography, spliced with a search for self, and a series of escapades in places of spiritual interest from Snowdonia, to Glastonbury to...
Crossroads to the past

Crossroads to the past

“From time to time, God causes men to be born – and thou art one of them – who have a lust to go abroad at the risk of their lives and discover news – to-day it may be of far-off things, tomorrow of some hidden mountain.” Rudyard Kipling, Kim The great twelfth-century traveller Ibn...
Home at the asylum

Home at the asylum

In the nineteenth century Roosevelt Island, then known as Blackwell’s Island, was crowded with more than a dozen prisons, a smallpox hospital, workhouses, and even a home for “wayward girls.” Municipal leaders in the growing metropolis across the river decided that Blackwell’s Island would be the perfect place to lock away the criminal, the indigent,...
Writing in the #MeToo era

Writing in the #MeToo era

Shocking revelations, a barrage of headlines, rising public outrage, hashtag activism, and… fiction. My novel The Red Word has been launched at the height of the #MeToo movement, and from its first days on the market it’s been praised for being ‘timely’. How does it feel to have written such a timely novel? How has...
Sheena Kamal: The rage that simmers

Sheena Kamal: The rage that simmers

It All Falls Down is the second in what will hopefully turn out to be a long-running series of crime novels by Canadian author Sheena Kamal. Once again focused on an enigmatic female protagonist named Nora Watts, it is a worthy follow up to Kamal’s critically acclaimed debut Eyes Like Mine. I may be a...
The reluctant romantic

The reluctant romantic

I didn’t set out to write a love story. In fact, I was startled when my agents Karolina Sutton and Lucy Morris chose to position my book as a love story. I said, are you sure it isn’t migrant literature disguised as time travel? Or a disquisition on the passage of time, wrapped in a...
How it begins

How it begins

Donna likes to remind Polly that she has to earn her keep, by entertaining Donna. “You’re such a drag,” Donna says. “Go do something daring so I can live vicariously.” Polly prefers to stay home and drink home-brew wine and watch TV with Donna’s two massive cats, Chicken and Noodles. “What happened today?” Donna yells...
Outsiders within

Outsiders within

Somewhere in the world, there is always a refugee crisis, people on the run from famine or conflict or natural disaster. I began writing my novel The Boat People in 2013 when the Syrian War was in its second year, just as the life rafts started to appear on the Mediterranean. As I wrote and...