Winner of the 38th Annual 3-Day Novel-Writing Contest
"You" and L, a mysterious third gender runaway, hit the road on a mission to find the meaning of life. Traveling by plane, bus and car, You run into trouble with the cops, mourn a family tragedy, smoke hundreds of cigarettes, attend a retirement party, come to terms with a broken heart, and discover that all roads lead back to where You started - in the flowers drawn by two little girls in coloured chalk on the sidewalk.
The book's central conceit, that modern society is injurious to human relationships and honest communication, is well expressed. The use of chalk drawing as a motif for the difficulties of emotional honesty is effective, especially at the very end of the work, where rain threatens to blur and erase any attempt at expression through the drawings. Pulling the reader in, the immediacy of Diaczuk's narrative is compelling and stands out alongside some of his stylistic inventions as the best thing about this book, gritty realism running against the desire for connection, the failure to understand and communicate at odds with the need for self-expression." (Vancouver Sun)
Doug Diaczuk is a freelance writer living in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He has a master's degree in English Literature and has worked in the environmental and communications field in Northern Ontario, as well as several years as a freelance journalist. He has been writing since a very young age, enjoys reading and studying Canadian Literature, and is a member of the Northwestern Ontario Writer's Workshop. Chalk is his first published novel.