Launchpad: Misconduct of the Heart, by Cordelia Strube

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This spring we've made it our mission (even more than usual) to celebrate new releases in the wake of cancelled launch parties, book festivals, and reading series. With 49th Shelf Launchpad, we're holding virtual launch parties here on our platform complete with witty banter and great insight to give you a taste of the books on offer. You can request these books from your local library, get them as e-books or audio books, order them from your local indie bookseller if they're delivering, buy them direct from the publisher or from online retailers.

Today we're launching Misconduct of the Heart, by Cordelia Strube, following her Toronto Book Award-winning On the Shores of Darkness, There Is Light. It's a book you will love "like never tomorrow."

*****

The Elevator Pitch. Tell us about your book in a sentence.

A kick-ass, sharp-witted, PTSD-suffering, inactive alcoholic finds love—and possibly forgiveness—where she least expects it.

Describe your ideal reader.

Someone who enjoys being pulled into complex characters, getting caught up in their life struggles, laughing and crying with them, living and learning with them, cringing and swooning and remaining captive for 396 pages.

What authors/books is your work in conversation with?

In no particular order and for various reasons: T.C. Boyle, Ben Marcus, Laurie Moore, Harold Pinter, Edward Albee, Orwell, Dostoevsky, Victor Lodato, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Schopenhauer, Dorothy Parker, Shakespeare, Evelyn Waugh, Emerson, Thoreau, Dickinson, and on and on. To read is to learn. To learn is to live.

What is something interesting you learned about your book/yourself/your subject during the process of creating and publishing your book?

After 11 novels I’ve finally accepted that my process is that I have no process. Each narrative finds its way gradually, after a bajillion revisions. While writing novels it feels as though I’m stuck in mud; nothing seems to move on the page. For months, sometimes years, I don’t even know if what I’m writing is a novel. It doesn’t become a novel until someone else calls it a novel.

The thank you's. Go ahead and acknowledge someone whose support has been integral to this project.

Robert Parsons whose restaurant kitchen experience helped me to build a credible and comical fictional restaurant kitchen.

What Canadian book are you reading?

Out of library books, I’m rereading a beat-up copy of Never Cry Wolf that I’ve had since childhood. Even when rumour spread that Mowat hadn’t actually spent time with the wolves, I still cherished the book. When I was a kid, my father took me to see Mowat give a talk at McGill. In a kilt, with scotch at hand, he seemed blustery. I had trouble connecting what appeared to be a bearded braggart with my beloved wolves. Lesson learned: don’t expect authors to look, or sound, like their characters.

 

 

About Misconduct of the Heart:

Toronto Book Award Winner Cordelia Strube is back with another caustic, subversive, and darkly humorous book

Stevie, a recovering alcoholic and kitchen manager of Chappy’s, a small chain restaurant, is frantically trying to prevent the people around her from going supernova: her PTSD-suffering veteran son, her uproariously demented parents, the polyglot eccentrics who work in her kitchen, the blind geriatric dog she inherits, and a damaged five-year-old who landed on her doorstep and might just be her granddaughter.

In the tight grip of new corporate owners, Stevie battles corporate’s “restructuring” to save her kitchen, while trying to learn to forgive herself and maybe allow some love back into her life. Stevie’s biting, hilarious take on her own and others’ foibles will make you cheer and will have you loving Misconduct of the Heart (in the immortal words of Stevie’s best line cook) “like never tomorrow.”

April 23, 2020
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