Shining at the Bottom of the Sea is a vividly imagined anthology of Sanjania, a fictional country created by one of the most impressive voices in Canadian literature, Stephen Marche. The novel offers a rich and varied portrait of Sanjania and its way of life through a collection of stories—from pirate tales to social realist dramas, from folk parables to avantgarde experiments, from nineteenth-century prostitution “confessions” to postcolonial memoirs. Part satire, part commentary on literary nationalism, part acrobatic feat, Shining at the Bottom of the Sea is above all else an original and absorbing read. Its stories range from wickedly funny to heartbreakingly sad and will be enjoyed by all readers—even the ones who have never had a chance to visit Sanjania.
About the author
Stephen Marche is a novelist and culture columnist. Marche received his Ph.D in Early Modern Drama in 2005 from the University of Toronto. He went on to teach Renaissance Drama at City College in New York. He is the author of two novels — Shining At The Bottom Of The Sea (2007) and Raymond and Hannah (2005), which was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award in 2006. His recent non-fiction project, How Shakespeare Changed Everything (2011), uncovers the sometimes hidden influence of Shakespeare in modern culture. He currently writes “A Thousand Words About Our Culture,” a monthly column for Esquire magazine, which was a finalist for the 2011 American Society of Magazine Editors National Magazine Award for commentary. Marche also writes a weekly column for the National Post and has written about literature and politics for Salon.com, The New Republic, The Toronto Star, The Globe & Mail, Maclean’s, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Walrus. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two children.