Atlantic Books Today, Fall 2013


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Atlantic Books Today, Issue No. 73, Fall 2013

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atlantic books today 35 books featured inside book news reviews excerpts free illustrating their point are illustrators undervalued free books win see page 46 dwindling stacks the ongoing threat to school libraries lisa moore tells all her favourite poets and authors plus who she d like to be for a day man of words jian ghomeshi brings his vibe to word on the street fall 2013 no 73 publications mail agreement 40038836


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frye ad atlantic books today 4.625 w x 2.25 hr.pdf 1 7/30/13 12:59 pm groundwood woozles april 21 27 avril 2014 35 years connecting kids with great books moncton nb canada atlantic canada s largest literary happening nominated at lanticpoet ry p r i ze nominated at lanticpoet ry p r i ze poems by carole glasser langille poems by warren heiti isbn 978-1-897141-52-6 isbn 978-1-897141-43-4 a long poem by rachel lebowitz isbn 978-1-897141-53-3 printing great canadian books reading naturally g rou n dwo od bo oks ron such t 902-684-0888 a place for and about children 1533 birmingham street halifax ns


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contents fall 2013 on the cover 24 man on the street halifax s annual word on the street festival ups the cool factor with the help of radio host and author jian ghomeshi features 22 disappearing stacks libraries and librarians were once considered essential to schools but not anymore 28 fall fiction roundup looking for a novel to read here are three terrific choices for new fiction from talented atlantic canadian authors 11 24 up front 6 contributors 7 editor s message current affairs 8 noted 24 22 cover photo cbc this page clockwise from top left joseph muise cbc istockphoto word on the street what s new in atlantic canada s literary community 10 chad s view chad pelly asks can we critique the critics 11 perspective author jon tattrie discusses public reaction to his hot-button historical subject edward cornwallis atlantic books today 3


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bac kf 201 or 3 read the same book share the same story september 10 this hauntingly beautiful novel lingers in the imagination like the sight of a stormchurned ocean and confirms that morrissey is one of canada s great storytellers vincent lam harrowing in an after-the-fact hilarious way full of wonder and mystery a hangover you wouldn t miss for the world michael crummey title revealed one book nova scotia @1bookns meet the authors at word on the street sunday september 22 2013 in halifax if this is freedom a novel by gloria ann wesley 9781552665718 $19.95 everything is so political a collection of short fiction by canadian writers edited by sandra mcintyre foreword by fred stenson 9781552665497 $19.95 longlisted for the man booker prize a passionate and deeply absorbing novel about family love loyalty and the power of art under the shadow of wwii the lost teachings panuijkatasikl kina masuti l michael james isaac illustrated by dozay arlene christmas translated by yolanda denny elizabeth paul 9781552665343 $14.95 rose way publishinganimprintof fe rnwood pu blishingfernwoodpublishing .c a /r oseway


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contents nathalie marsh joseph muise 13 joseph muise 20 author buzz reviews book bites 38 13 interview with an author newfoundland s lisa moore answers the pressing questions in our proust questionnaire 30 book reviews your guide to exciting new works of atlantic canadian fiction poetry and nonfiction from historical explorations and biographies to political histories from here and abroad 41 excerpts sneak peeks into the premiers joey and frank greed power and lust road to the nhl and jeanne dugas of acadia 14 inside the author s studio author and publisher lesley choyce s writing space offers an escape from the real world 43 regional reads pam estabrook offers book suggestions for lovers of ghost stories true crime and mysteries food 16 profile how journalist and professor stephen kimber found himself on the trail of the cuban five 38 recipe pickled beets from elizabeth peirce s you can too canning pickling and preserving the maritime harvest 44 events festivals readings and book-related fun for everyone 45 last word young readers 38 recipe roasted beet and goat cheese salad from halifax tastes recipes from the region s best restaurants with liz feltham a unique website called 49th shelf brings atlantic canada s books to the country 18 reviews our young readers editor lisa doucet reviews young adult fiction and illustrated books for children 46 the great book giveaway enter our contest to win a beautiful basket of atlantic canadian books 40 reviews food editor valerie mansour offers her views on the latest in atlantic canadian food writing 20 feature are illustrators overlooked when it comes to recognition atlantic books today 5


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contributors contributing editors lisa doucet is the co-manager of woozles children s bookstore and shares her passion for children s and young adult books as our young readers editor pam estabrook is regional procurement specialist for indigo pam s regional round-up column highlights books from atlantic canada valerie mansour combines her love of food and books as our food section editor based in halifax she works as a writer editor and documentary film researcher chad pelley is the founder of salty ink a blog spotlighting canadian fiction and poetry he has received numerous literary awards his latest novel is every little thing atlantic books today atlantic books today is published by the atlantic publishers marketing association which gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the canada council for the arts and the canada book fund of the department of canadian heritage opinions expressed in articles in atlantic books today do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the board of the atlantic publishers marketing association contributing writers chris benjamin is the award-winning author of eco-innovators sustainability in atlantic canada and of the novel drive-by saviours find him at alec bruce is an award-winning journalist author broadcaster critic gardener grandfather husband reader air-guitarist blogger and cocktail aficionado he lives in moncton nb michelle brunet is a halifax-based writer who regularly contributes to both print and online media she currently serves as interim editor at arts east paul butler is the author of nine novels including nageira and titanic ashes his website will run the instant hook literary award this fall sue carter flinn is an award-winning writer currently employed as web editor at quill quire and as arts ideas editor at this magazine margaret patricia eaton of moncton nb is a former teacher-librarian now a published poet and freelance writer and photographer she has always been a bibliophile sarah emsley is the author of jane austen s philosophy of the virtues and editor of jane austen and the north atlantic she blogs about jane austen and edith wharton at mike heffernan is the author of the national bestseller rig an oral history of the ocean ranger disaster and the recently released the other side of midnight taxi cab stories whitney moran is an editor journalist and poet who lives and writes in halifax find her at freelance writer sandra phinney has a long standing love affair with labrador she hopes to meet louie montague the next time she s in the land god gave to cain a widely published writer of non-fiction darcy rhyno s two collections of short fiction ­ conductor of waves and holidays ­ and his just released ya novel monsters of suburbia are available at joan sullivan is the editor of newfoundland quarterly her latest book in the field won the rogers communication award for non-fiction this year jon tattrie is an award-winning author and journalist cornwallis the violent birth of halifax is his third book kate watson is the coast s theatre reviewer and a writer who contributes to local regional and national publications she ran for halifax regional council in 2012 publisher atlantic publishers marketing association executive director and advertising sales carolyn guy managing editor angela mombourquette design joseph muise printed in canada this is issue number 73 fall 2013 atlantic books today is published three times a year all issues are numbered in sequence total atlantic-wide circulation 60,000 issn 1192-3652 one-year subscriptions to atlantic books today are available for $15 17.25 including hst please make cheques payable to the atlantic publishers marketing association and mail to address below or contact apma.admin for subscription inquiries publications mail agreement no 40038836 return undeliverable canadian addresses to atlantic publishers marketing association atlantic books today 1484 carlton street halifax ns b3h 3b7 phone 902 420.0711 fax 902 423.4302 @abtmagazine 6 atlantic books today


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editor s message the only constant is change according to heraclitus and here at the atlantic publishers marketing association we ve seen plenty of change in the past few months the first thing you ll notice is the fresh new look of atlantic books today our talented designer joseph muise who having started in march is now the staffer with the most seniority in the apma office has undertaken the daunting task of redesigning the magazine adding a lively new visual sensibility ultimately our goal is to bring you a more pleasurable reading experience and we hope we ve succeeded in that we ve also recently gained a new executive director in the multi-talented carolyn guy who has been guiding the team through dayto-day operations of the apma since april and then there s me as you may know heather fegan who usually sits in this chair has taken some time off to experience the joys of parenthood see page 9 for a photo of the glowing new mom and her baby girl i ve stepped in while she s off and promise to keep the ship afloat in her absence so sit back and enjoy in this issue we explore the troubling phenomenon of closing school libraries disappearing stacks page 22 we delve into the frustrations of some illustrators over lack of recognition seeing the big picture page 20 and we get up close and personal with jian ghomeshi who is headlining this year s word on the street in halifax man on the street page 24 of course we d love your feedback send your thoughts to angela mombourquette new books from flanker press new breakwater from fall 2013 no one to tell isbn 978-1-77117-254-7 $17.95 paperback also available as an ebook isbn 978-1-77117-309-4 $19.95 paperback also available as an ebook isbn 978-1-77117-266-0 $22.00 paperback also available as an ebook a stunning personal account of janet merlo s twenty years of service in the rcmp and her current fight against sexual harassment and gender discrimination in canada s national police force the impunity of rcmp officers who use obscenity and sex and power as tools in their trade is spreading like a stain on a national icon will disclosure force change no one to tell is a test case for an organization that was once the pride of the nation ­ sally author of armstrong ascent of women non fiction janet merlo edited by isbn 978-1-55081-434-7 leslie vryenhoek isbn 978-1-77117-236-3 $24.00 paperback also available as an ebook isbn 978-1-77117-293-6 $34.95 hardcover isbn 978-1-77117-274-5 $19.95 paperback also available as an ebook with an introduction by linden macintyre phone 709-739-4477 toll-free 1-866-739-4420 check us out on celebrating 40 years 1973-2013 of quality publishing atlantic books today 7


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current affairs noted here s what s new in atlantic canada s literary community honour roll sunburst shortlist new poet laureate st john s author gerard collins has in late june spoken word activist and wfns literary awards been shortlisted for the sunburst teacher el jones became halifax s the writers federation of nova award for excellence in canadian new poet laureate jones poetry is scotia wfns has announced its committed to political causes and shortlist for the 2013 wfns literary literature of the fantastic for his first novel finton moon which social justice she has worked exawards nominated for the atlantic tensively with organizations around poetry prize are lesley choyce for i m is set in the 1970s in the outport halifax performing and presenting alive i believe in everything breton town of darwin newfoundland collins teaches english language on issues of social change books carole glasser langille for and literature at memorial uni the poet laureate puts a spotlight church of the exquisite panic the versity his book is published by on the role that art and poetry play ophelia poems pedlar press and killick press in our city by engaging communities george murray for whiteout ecw press the evelyn richardson memorial non-fiction award nominees books awards winners are steven laffoley for shadowboxing the winners of the 2013 atlantic pottersfield press jerry lockett for 5 democracy 250 atlantic book award book awards were announced in may the discovery of weather formac for historical writing p.b waite in congratulations to all of these awardlorimer books and herb macdonwinning books authors and illustrators search of r.b bennett published by ald for cape breton railways an mcgill-queen s university press illustrated history cape breton 6 e.j pratt poetry award don 1 ann connor brimer award university press the thomas head mckay paradoxides published by for children s literature lisa raddall atlantic fiction award mcclelland stewart harrington live to tell published nominees are keir lowther for dirty 7 jim connors dartmouth book by dancing cat books bird tightrope books donna award fiction d.r macdonald 2 atlantic publishers marketing morrissey for the deception of livvy association s best atlantic-published anna from away published by higgs penguin group and russell harpercollins canada ltd book goose lane editions for wangersky for whirl away thomas the metamorphosis the apprenticeship 8 lillian shepherd award for allen son winners will be anexcellence in illustration brenda of harry houdini by bruce macnab nounced in halifax on september 21 3 atlantic book award for scholarly jones for i is for island a prince edward island alphabet written by writing susan dodd the ocean booker nomination hugh macdonald published by ranger remaking the promise of oil author alison macleod s novel sleeping bear press published by fernwood publishing unexploded hamish hamilton has 9 margaret and john savage first 4 dartmouth book award for nonbeen longlisted for the 2013 man book award keir lowther dirty fiction anne marie lane jonah booker prize macleod was born in bird published by tightrope books and chantal vÉchambre french montreal and raised in halifax before 10 rogers communications award taste in atlantic canada 1604-1758 a moving to england in 1987 the for non-fiction joan sullivan in the gastronomic history published by shortlist will be announced septemfield published by breakwater books cape breton university press ber 10 and the winner on october 15 8 atlantic books today halifax regional municipality prizes promotions and poetry on the bus halifax poet laureate el jones.


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current affairs noted and finding fearless and confident voices to speak out and i am proud to represent part of that vision said jones in a press release writer-in-residence author douglas glover savage love elle will be the university of new brunswick s writer-in-residence for 2013-14 over the past decade the position has been held by such writers as sue sinclair john barton fred stenson catherine bush ken mcgoogan anne simpson george douglas featherling bill bissett and kenneth j harvey norma collins other news pattison outdoor advertising in collaboration with the league of canadian poets has launched a yearlong program poetry in transit that places poems by 15 renowned canadian writers on public transit in 13 cities across the country poems will appear on buses in halifax moncton saint john and other locations across canada the poetry selections include verses by several poets with atlantic canadian connections including bill bissett george elliott clarke m travis lane and joseph sherman frequent travellers will note the closure of relay books at the halifax stanfield international airport the store one of 13 relay stores across canada closed its doors in july the closure leaves the airport without a dedicated bookstore new mom heather fegan with baby anna gerard collins and finally the biggest news in the abt office is the birth of anna amelia fegan daughter of longtime apma projects manager heather and husband matt fegan heather is taking time to enjoy family life for the next little while congratulations new breakwater glen carter from fall 2013 last witness the second jack doyle thriller from author and veteran tv newsman glen carter together with retired fbi agent frank malloy doyle must race to find prevent history from repeating itself ­ more than fifty years after jfk was slain and the last witness disappeared 978-1-55081-443-9 $21.95 fiction motherfumbler vicki murphy i always knew i d be the perfect mother so far i ve perfected the fetal position that s just the beginning of this collection of tell-it-like-it-is rants and musings from the creator of and mother of the fiery-spirited and fiery-haired boy better known as turbo ginger 978-1-55081-440-8 $19.95 non-fiction celebrating 40 years 1973-2013 of quality publishing matt fegan atlantic books today 9


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current affairs chad s view critiquing the critics chad pelley credentials are essential to every reviewer s credibility o ne of the first novels i read in 2013 was a gorgeously written debut i thought its strength was its style but a globe and mail review slammed its thwarted prose and effusive detail that adds little depth to the story were it not so difficult to leave a comment to the contrary i might have respectfully defended the author s right to write how she wishes yet the review was intelligently constructed this conundrum got me thinking how does one become a critic think about it no one lets the doctor remove the ruptured appendix until he s been taught the procedure yet a critic needs no such certification to dissect a book fundamentally a review should ascertain the author s intention and assess how he or she succeeded and failed in that regard many critics know this but many do not as an author who has taken some knocks alongside some highs i might sound like a guy with his back up here i m not criticism serves many roles in our industry from taste-making to academic discourse and even marketing of books and if authors can t stand to hear that they re imperfect maybe they shouldn t be writing also because review space is so scarce no writer should complain about receiving a bad review if it s fairly worded as there are so many writers out there whose work isn t even getting reviewed surely being ignored is worse than being talked about personally i crave constructive criticism praise is nice but hearing i love your writing will never make me a better writer however this mode of thinking about bad reviews as an acceptable part of the industry depends entirely on reviews being professionally rendered having to swallow unfounded statements about your work statements that speak more to a critic s inability to review a novel than a writer s inability to craft one is needless and plain unfair the consensus among writers and critics i admire is that if the author learns nothing from a bad review it s sloppy journalism lisa moore is one of our country s finest writers but like many of us she s had to endure some sloppy reviews over the years i asked her whether it s uncouth for writers to respond to bunk reviews i learn a ton from some of my negative reviews when they are written by people who know what they re doing she says let s face it the gig doesn t pay very much the deadlines can sometimes be punishing on very rare occasions the job draws the disenchanted and sour but most reviewers are reviewing for the love of literature and it s from them we learn to be better readers even if the sting of an insightful-but-negative review leaves me raw i can be very grateful for the insight those sorts of reviews can mean that literature really matters it matters enough to argue about i suppose it all comes down to the level of integrity behind the bad review if anything this article is merely a plea or warning to our country s newspapers and magazines your publication is only as good as the professionalism of your contributors we readers are talking more than you think we are about your articles criticism serves many roles in our industry from taste-making to academic discourse and even marketing of books and if authors can t stand to hear that they re imperfect maybe they shouldn t be writing 10 atlantic books today


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current affairs perspective courting controversy an author s perspective on the public reaction to his hot-button historical subject jon tattrie joseph muise


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current affairs perspective joseph muise i asked myself why am i doing this i have a time writer but i m not in it for the money only attended by more than 130 people and i had to field increasingly hostile questions was i defending a genocidal butcher was i trying to rewrite history in the name of political correctness the moderator had to cut people off as emotions threatened to boil over a week later i spoke to dalhousie s university club at the end of my talk a prominent historian accused me of fudging the research to bend the book to pre-held opinions another week later someone sprayed graffiti on the statue declaring cornwallis to be fake and a self-righteous ass i was back for another full media blitz stepping onto the contemporary battlefield surrounded on all sides by belligerents with bayonets fixed the author produces a peace offering wrote the herald s book reviewer that s exactly what it felt like i asked myself why am i doing this i have a lovely wife and a baby son at home i m a full-time writer but books make up a tiny proportion of my income i m not in it for the money i love writing but don t enjoy facing hostile audiences so why the truth is i wrote cornwallis not in spite of the controversy but because of it it was like that scene in stephen king s the tommyknockers where roberta anderson stumbles on a metal object poking out of the ground she scrapes away the dirt to reveal an ancient alien spaceship the real human hair extensions was the pokey metal this book is the spaceship now that the truth about cornwallis has been exhumed it s my hope that we can have a thoughtful post-mortem discussion about history and contemporary identity now that we know how halifax began we can better map out where we want the city to go nova scotia has given me a lot this book is my way of giving a little bit back lovely wife and a baby son at home i m a full he first time i wrote about edward cornwallis it was for a front-page article in the chronicle herald in 2010 a company selling hair-care products in halifax had run an ad for real human hair extensions featuring models posed with a statue of cornwallis in a downtown park given the city founder s notorious role in ordering a scalping bounty against mi kmaq people it led to a hot debate about history racism and colonialism people emailed me called my home and wrote letters to the editor the conversation went national when the halifax regional school board ordered cornwallis junior high to drop the english aristocrat s name it was eventually renamed halifax central junior high i wanted to know more about him to my amazement i found that not a single book had been written about him in fact he barely earned a few mentions in thomas raddall s halifax warden of the north if i wanted to read cornwallis s biography i d have to write it i spent two years digging through the archives and history books my search led me to experts in canada gibraltar scotland and england the result cornwallis the violent birth of halifax pottersfield press came out in may normally authors have to beg for media coverage of books but cornwallis was a force of nature on launch day i gave interviews from 6 am to 6 pm the launch was standing-room t author jon tattrie faced a storm of controversy when his biography of edward cornwallis was released he tells atlantic books today why it was important to him to write the book nova scotia archives to read a review of tattrie s book turn to page 34 12 atlantic books today


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author buzz interview nathalie marsh lisa moore lisa moore is the author of two collections of short stories degrees of nakedness and open in addition to the novels february alligator and most recently caught moore who says if she could be anyone else for a day she would be isadora duncan or beyoncé lives in st john s nl proust questionnaire what do you consider your best quality a natural talent you d like to possess tenacity stick-to-it-iveness i never singing say die where you would most like to live a quality you desire in a partner room mentioned above outport curiosity the desire to know everynewfoundland or room mentioned thing and a willingness to share above greece whatever he finds out your favourite food drink what do you appreciate most about juniper smoked halibut i just had it at your friends the restaurant in the fogo island inn creativity the ability to laugh to see prepared by chef murray mcdonald the world in unexpected ways to tell and a very cold beer at the end of the good stories to be bursting with life day every now and then what is your idea of happiness a room with a big glass wall that looks out on the water a wood stove a comfy couch a cappuccino a book a sunset or same room big party favourite authors don delillo lorrie moore mavis gallant elizabeth bowen anne enright william faulkner virginia woolf zadie smith michael crummey your favourite fictional heroes tess of the d urbervilles your real life heroes the nurses who work in the emergency ward of the health sciences centre hospital [in st john s because they have unflagging energy good humour and such deep compassion favourite animal hunter our english setter disobedient graceful/goofy regal/gangly long pink tongue eyes full of longing what is your greatest fear languid demanding wistful loving being sent into outer space and not being able to get back if you could be someone else for a day your favourite poets who would it be wallace stevens seamus heaney how you want to die isadora duncan or beyoncé sharon olds derek walcott ken lying in a field looking up at babstock elizabeth bishop the stars your worst quality emily dickinson sue goyette i am outrageously disorganized about jeanette lyons carmelita mcgrath your present state of mind paperwork mary dalton revved up hopeful atlantic books today 13


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author buzz inside the author s studio room with a view chris benjamin author and publisher lesley choyce s workspace offers an escape from the real world but a window that frames the ocean view is essential photos chris benjamin d rive east through the city over a bridge through another city suburbia and around a lot of bends and suddenly the crashing waves of lawrencetown beach look ready to smash the windshield the surfers love it so it s no surprise atlantic canlit icon lesley choyce lives nearby i m on leslie road no kidding he says the pale blue house in east lawrencetown ns looks like it was erected by a kid with hand-me-down lego uneven blocks creating protruding angles upstairs a vertical window frames the atlantic beyond green wetlands and shrubbery computers circa early 90s to modern-day are stationed in the corners abandoned writing spaces there is a wall of books papers boxes and ink cartridges on the floor surround an easy chair choyce s current nook overlooks a picnic table and an uncluttered yard but the window is off to the side the main focus is the flat-screen monitor where he spends a few hours every morning trying to shut out the real world and create new ones he s been here since 1978 when he finished his phd coursework in english literature in new jersey ronald reagan was prowling ready to claim the white house reaganomics didn t jibe with the young intellectual renaissance man who already belonged with what we now call the creative class he needed somewhere his mind could be free there was some oceanside acreage in east lawrencetown a 200-year-old fixer-upper farmhouse low ceiling boards painted with skim milk and pig s blood like they did back then no heat a single 15-amp light bulb but he loved nova scotia had ever since his first trip in a volkswagen van in 1969 surfing the great beaches it seemed like a place he could write and he has to the tune of 84 books all while running his own publishing company hosting a national tv show for many years off the page on book television jamming with his one-time spoken-word rock band the surfpoets teaching english at dalhousie university in halifax surfing year-round and being a dad 14 atlantic books today


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author buzz inside the author s studio clockwise from above choyce s writing space is both comfortable and chaotic the author with his dog murdo surfing the waters off lawrencetown ns the view from an abandoned workstation when he arrived he had already written a few bad manuscripts only three unpublished his writer friends teased him that s pretty good he kept at it generating material was never a problem his first published work was a book of poetry re-inventing the wheel from fiddlehead books eventually a collection of short stories followed eastern sure nimbus and some creative nonfiction he opened his own publishing house pottersfield press in 1979 in the 80s he built onto the old farmhouse adding the upstairs where he now writes as he says somewhat erratically but often adding writing is part of the biological cycle in my brain he says he writes sloppily first quickly then fixes the mess he is inspired by his surroundings you can feel them in his work whether prose about free spirits on their own island the republic of nothing or verse about footprints washed to sea as soil slips free/its compact form takes flight/and empties all it knows the coastline of forgetting an imaginary nova scotia he calls it when i write it s very much like geography like i m going to a place everything else disappears and when i stop writing i leave that world he explains he can reach both the city and the surf from this very space to get there i need a window quiet the ability to make the real world go away to go beyond my own neuroses and problems even just coming up to a separate floor from the rest of the house helps as a publisher and a writer that real world includes the bleak prospects facing a new book i have to forget that and believe i m going to write a great book that connects with people because books change lives this year choyce is up for the atlantic poetry prize for i m alive i believe in everything a collection of new and previously published poems from the last 40 years of his life but he writes more young adult novels than anything else now producing about one a year he wants to stay innovative his new novel jeremy stone due out in the fall is about a young mi kmaq man moving through spirit worlds after more than three decades in this space the writing process still invigorates choyce when i finish a book i m sad to leave that world he says i grieve for it when i write it s very much like geography like i m going to a place everything else disappears and when i stop writing i leave that world atlantic books today 15



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