Here gathered together are the Montreal-set stories which made Clark Blaise famous -- such stories as 'A Class of New Canadians', 'Eyes', and 'I'm Dreaming of Rocket Richard' -- alongside two new and unpublished Montreal stories, 'The Belle of Shediac' and 'Life Could Be a Dream (sh-boom, sh-boom)'.
About the author
Clark Blaise has taught in Montreal, Toronto, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, as well as at Skidmore College, Columbia University, Iowa, NYU, Sarah Lawrence and Emory. For several years he directed the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Among the most widely travelled of authors, he has taught or lectured in Japan, India, Singapore, Australia, Finland, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Holland, Germany, Haiti and Mexico. He lived for years in San Francisco, teaching at the University of California, Berkeley. He is married to the novelist Bharati Mukherjee and currently divides his time between San Francisco and Southampton, Long Island. In 2002, he was elected president of the Society for the Study of the Short Story. In 2003, he was given an award for exceptional achievement by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2009, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada ``for his contributions to Canadian letters as an author, essayist, teacher, and founder of the post-graduate program in creative writing at Concordia University``.
'One way ... to approach the collection is to soak up the atmosphere of the city that Blaise describes with an almost uncanny acuity. He is a sure master, whether painting landscape -- the mean east-end streets of the 1950s seen as ''one big icy puddle of frozen gutter water, devoid of joy, colour, laughter, pleasure, intellect or art'' -- or charting social change in the Plateau, the district transformed in the 1980s from ''a low, squalid slum, dismal and tubercular'' to ''Soho de chez nous ... young, upscale, arty and French.'' '
'Those who have read Blaise will likely be familiar with his non-fiction bestseller Time Lord, not the four volumes of his Collected Stories that have sold somewhere in the low hundreds. Though he became a member of the Order of Canada in 2009, Blaise has never won a GG. And yet his body of work -- and one can speak of it as a coherent body -- is an entertaining and profound monument to the craft of the short story.'
'Mingling new pieces written especially for each collection with several older, 'classic' stories, the series is an unprecedented event in the history of Canadian literature. Never before has such a large body of work been re-collected in such a way. Never has a writer been so quickly and so completely ''re-presented'' to us. The strength of the project is its ability to foreground the complexity of Blaise's geographical imagination. [ ... ] The series illustrates, more clearly than ever before, that there is something remarkably original about Blaise's work. Blaise is more than just a local colourist who ferrets out the curious details of ''marginal'' communities in order to delight cosmopolitan readers. Rather, if we consider the full arc of his work, we see that for nearly fifty years he has been challenging the way that we understand the concept of place in contemporary Canadian and American literature.'
Essays on Canadian Writing
'Clark Blaise is a born storyteller ... a writer to savour.'
The New York Times Book Review
'More than any other writer, Blaise has shown how Canada is linked by geography, immigration and cultural affinity to the wider world ...'