Linda Leith Publishing

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No Crystal Stair
Excerpt

The light changed. They crossed the street, Otis protesting against the sound of traffic. "No, man. I'm not into that stuff. No smuggling cocaine for me. Nor marijuana. Nothing!"

"They's dozens who do. You gettin' religion or something, eh? Or have you found some sweet pidididdy gal that's got stan­dards?" Rodney laughed; his wide mouth emitted a guttural donkey sound, but his steely eyes examined Otis coldly.

Otis decided he might as well laugh, for Rodney pretended never to take anything seriously. It was always "Let's catch the action at Rockhead's" or "Let's inspect the chicks at Club St. Michel." He revelled in the nightlife around Montreal's Mountain Street, with its jazz entertainers and brown-skinned chorus girls imported from New York's Harlem. Both nightclubs were owned by former railway porters who, gossip contended, had made their initial nest eggs rum-running, in the decade when Prohibition in the United States made smuggling liquor across the border profitable.

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A Cemetery for Bees
Excerpt

While I'm in Bucharest to pick up the passport, my mother takes it upon herself to launch into some spring cleaning. She digs up and moves my white lilac. The room is very clean when I return, just two unpacked suitcases, undecided and forever unready.

My mother has already buried me. Inverted mourning. I am inconsolable.

With the passport in my pocket, the first one I've ever had, I start my farewell tour. Instead of bringing flowers, I show the passport to those who've never seen one before. I am twenty-eight years old, the child is three.

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Lunging into the Underbrush
Excerpt

I have aged backward. I experienced severe incapacity at a young age, as a teenager. I built strength as time passed, though I had to wait until I was in my fifties to finally begin that work. That progress may sound illogical, and I certainly didn't ask for it. But it happened, and brought with it unexpected gifts.

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Kerouac & Presley

Kerouac & Presley

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
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Excerpt

My father died in 2003, at ninety-two years and eleven months of age. My mother has conserved like a holy relic the sugar bowl he gave her at the Sisters' raffle. She is almost one hundred--and lives alone in the big house, in Bord-de-l'Eau: a white fieldstone farmhouse built by my great grandfather, etc. Her knit sweaters are masterpieces. Her embroideries rival those found in the chateaux of the Loire Valley. No one makes a finer pea soup. She attributes part of her longevity to the fact that she went to school on foot. She asks me to wish you good day.

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