Friday, May 06, 2005
Alberta Scene: Alberta Authors 1
In the Nat'l Library last night: Marci Denesiuk and Shani Mootoo. I went to this because I loved Mootoo's first book, Cereus Blooms At Night, but that came out over eleven years ago, so I was looking forward to her new book: He Drown She In The Sea. Denesiuk read first and had quite a group of friends and family there, including a woman in a wheel chair with a friendly dog, there to help her out. Whenever the audience clapped, the dog let out some great yelping cheers. We all need one of those dogs at our readings. Denesiuk combined her reading with a plasticene animated short film. It was creative and hilarious. Mootoo had this interesting accent that was a combination of Irish (where she was born), Trinidadian and Canadian. Part of her book is set in Canada and the rest in an invented island in the Caribbean. What was cool was the way she varied her accent for the Canadian and Caribbean parts. During question period, we learned Mootoo has a background in visual arts. That's not surprising. Her writing is very visual and lush. Interviewers, including the host last night, Randall Ware, are dwelling on the fact that it's been eleven years since her first book. She admitted she didn't want to rush into her second and was afraid that it wouldn't be as successful as the award-winning first novel. I wish this was a Prairie scene focus and not just an Alberta focus. Then writers like Sharon Butala and Rob Budde could come. Heck, why not a plain old North American Prairie Scene and include Annie Proulx from the US. It was a great reading and it's always a pleasure to sit in Room A and watch the sun set as the reading gets underway.