Don't suspend disbelief. Don't arrest it, curtail it, or unfrock it. Disbelief is in the fine print scratched at the bottom of Leon Rooke's literary contract. ... If we relinquish anything to read Rooke, it should be sobriety.
About the author
An energetic and prolific storyteller, Leon Rooke's writing is characterized by inventive language, experimental form and an extreme range of characters with distinctive voices. He has written a number of plays for radio and stage and produced numerous collections of short stories. It is his novels, however, that have received the most critical acclaim. Fat Woman (1980) was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award and won the Paperback Novel of the Year Award. Shakespeare's Dog won the Governor General's Award in 1983. As a play, Shakespeare's Dog has toured as far afield as Barcelona and Edinburgh. A Good Baby was made into a feature film. Rooke founded the Eden Mills Writers' Festival in 1989. In 2007, Rooke was made a member of the Order of Canada. Other awards include the Canada/Australia prize, the W O Mitchell Award, the North Carolina Award for Literature and two ReLits (for short fiction and poetry). In 2012, he was the winner of the Gloria Vanderbilt Carter V Cooper Fiction Award. Recently, Rooke's works The Fall of Gravity and Shakespeare's Dog were produced in new editions for France and Italy, two countries where his work has been greatly admired.
- Winner, ReLit Awards, Poetry
'Don't suspend disbelief. Don't arrest it, curtail it, or unfrock it. Disbelief is in the fine print scratched at the bottom of Leon Rooke's literary contract. ... If we relinquish anything to read Rooke, it should be sobriety.'
Quill and Quire
'Rooke's surreal flourishes and sense of humour are reminiscent of American Surrealist James Tate. In fact, Tate's work is directly addressed in two of Rooke's poems: ''Continuation of the James Tate Poem 'The Condemned Man' '' and ''Continuation of the James Tate Poem 'Peggy in the Twilight.' '' This nod to Tate is an important detail because, while readers who enjoy traditional lyric verse may find the surrealism in Hot Poppies difficult and pointless, those who love experimentation with language and images will find much to appreciate.'
'Rooke's book moves with the playful confidence and the virile language of a more mature masculinity.'
'If you are a fan of Rooke's fiction, you'll likely enjoy his poetry. Much as Don Coles seemed to spring fully formed into the late genius of a life-long novelist, Rooke has arrived with a ''first'' book of uncommon skill and voice. ... Hot Poppies is a very impressive debut.'
Globe and Mail
Other titles by Leon Rooke
The House on Major Street
Fabulous Fictions & Peculiar Practices
Painting the Dog
The Best Stories of Leon Rooke
Twentieth Anniversary Edition
The Fall of Gravity
The April Poems
Wide World in Celebration and Sorrow
Acts of Kamikaze Fiction
Pope and Her Lady
The Last Shot
Eleven Stories and a Novella