Jane Eaton Hamilton

"This dish is best served published." -Yana Luchkovsky

First Novelists Get Better With Age

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Age-seasoned writers are up for this year’s Amazon.ca First Novel Award. Judith McCormack is 62 and a current year finalist, which means she’ll take home $4000, or $40,000 if she wins. Karim Alrawi, also a finalist, is 58. Elizabeth Phillips is 54. It is not a young crowd, but it is a celebrated one. The award-winner will be announced May 26.

Globe and Mail

Best One-Sentence Advice You’ve Ever Gotten on Writing?

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Over at Lit Reactor, Christopher Schultz has compiled some great one-liners of advice from well-known authors in this article here.

Hilary Mantal writes and writes and writes

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Hilary Mantel writes for “My Writing Day” at the Guardian here.

The very very very last call for Celebration of Canadian poetry project at Brick Books!

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This is the very last call for articles for our Celebration of Canadian poetry project. If you have been wanting to write something but thought you had missed the deadline, you still have time…
The Celebration of Canadian poetry now has 271 articles posted and has continued into 2016. The articles are written by poets, publishers, novelists, musicians, politicians, readers – a real variety of articles and very interesting reading. Have a look… http://www.brickbooks.ca/category/news/celebrate-canadian-poetry/

If you would like to write something about a Canadian poet that you admire – a sentence, a paragraph, a page… whatever is feasible for you – please contact Kitty Lewis at brick.books@sympatico.ca to ask for more details.

I am hoping to stretch this project through the month of June – but only if I receive enough articles.

There is no restriction on who you can write about – it doesn’t have to be a Brick Books author; you can write about someone who has already been presented; living or dead; known or unknown… You can write about a particular poem that you admire. This is a wide-open celebration of Canadian poetry.

If you can send me something by May 15th, that would be wonderful. Send it to Kitty Lewis at brick.books@sympatico.ca

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The number of visits to our website has increased 50% compared to our visits in 2014. So I know that people are reading the articles each week.

“Brilliant, Troubled Dorothy Parker”

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Over at NY Review of Books, Robert Gottlieb has a look at the troubled legend of Dorothy Parker.

NYBooks

Sometimes, all it takes is a WEEKEND…

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In stores May 6th.

The Sick Boy

 

The Sick Boy

Jane Eaton Hamilton

from Love Will Burst into a Thousand Shapes, 2014

 

The spot inside the sick boy’s brain was

invisible, it burrowed there pale as a tuber,

stubborn and engorged. His hair lifted

from his scalp like angel fuzz; his eyes

gleamed and struck us. Dumb and

wanting, we watched him teeter to the lip of the

nest, his skin traced blue with veins. Fledgling,

we thought, and gathered our children closer, under

shivering arms. The sick boy wanted Christmas

cards and he got thousands, maybe millions,

a Guiness record in any case, cards enough

to fill warehouses, from everywhere

in the world. There was his father, his mother,

his sister and brother, and there were all those cards,

and there was his brain cancer, growing like

a nightmare’s garden, spreading like a bleach spot

into September and death. We almost

knew something dangerous that glowed

the way an umbilicus will; we almost

saw reflections of silver in the mirror, but then

we didn’t. We only saw ourselves, lustrous

as poster paints, our terrible good luck.

Short Story Awards

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photo: Jane Eaton Hamilton, unknown date

This is a cause near and dear to my heart; I know if I were endowing an award, it would be for short fiction.

Here, from Electric Lit, Should Literary Awards Do More To Recognize Short Stories?

How Not To Talk About African Fiction

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This astute article from the Guardian about discrepancies about how we talk about white, male N American lit and how we discuss black, women’s African lit.

African Fiction

Don’t Miss These Journos in Your Reading Stacks

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author Lucy Grealy 1962-2002

The Queens of Nonfiction

Susan Orlean, Joan Didion, Annie Dillard, Roxane Gay?

Gay Talese, when asked, couldn’t think of a woman writer who had influenced him. But he’s an old get, right? Who expects better from him?

This list, as author Ann Friedman suggests, skews to white Americans, but nevertheless it is a list with a name for each of 56 years, with an excellent female nonfiction writer represented in each.

Boobs: The Anthology

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Folks, Ruth Daniell has put together this great anthology of women writing about breasts. Join 9 readers at Heartwood Café April 29 for the launch and celebration!

Sarah van Arsdale is a straight writer. Or a lesbian writer. Or a bisexual writer.

typewriterJEH

Over at Guernica, Sarah van Arsdale explores her writing career through the lens of her sexual orientation.

I Was a Lesbian Writer

Here’s Sarah van Arsdale’s article from this January about literature and keeping oneself to the work and jealousy. Highly recommended; in fact, this may be the best article I’ve read about how a friend’s success affects those of us still deep in the trenches.

My Famous Friend, Bookslut

Fail Better

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Zadie Smith on the art of a writer’s failure

Fail Better

Do Women Writers Have Clout?

Over at the New Republic, Andrew Piper and Richard Jean So have published a look not at the numbers of women being reviewed but at the quality of the reviews themselves. What they conclude is shocking.

Women Write About Family, Men Write About War

Snow

“Kaleidoscopic with fever. How many times hospitalized? Five, seven, nine? The hospital a place when I gave up, where I could give up, where giving up was the only possibility towards recovery. Me, white. The room around me, white. The curtains, white. The bedsheets, white. The nurses, white, in white uniforms and white shoes. The silting silting air white. My skull the white bone bars of an aviary; in it, white birds whitely swung on white perches while singing the whitest of songs by Sato Chiyako, Kuro Yori No Hana. Illnesses vague as snowflakes, white as snowlashes: there, then vanishing, then there again, then vanishing, until I could go home with my reluctant mother who hated to leave. Allergies, perhaps, or asthma, or an infection lurking in the dark shadows under my icicle skin, an interior boil filled with the pus of my living.

In order to see a thing, you need its opposite.

She cared for me the entire time I was hospitalized, leaving the other youngsters with a babysitter named Mrs Sumiko. At night she slept on a cot much lower than my bed, tossing under thin white sheets and white bedcovers and moaning when nurses with blood pressure cuffs, thermometers and stethoscopes woke me to see how well I was sleeping. Sometimes she would sit bolt upright and say, in nearly flawless English, “My daughter, how she is?”

And I knew I was loved.

She smoked leaning against the windows looking down at the parking lot. She could see winter from my window through the morning haze of her smoke, the sleeting sideways snow, the window crystallizations. Once, she brought me a snowball and placed it in my feverish hand until my fingers went numb.

And I knew I was loved.

In the morning, Kaachan pulled the white curtain and while I sat up, coughing from my weakened lungs, she unbuttoned my white cotton pajamas and slipped them from my shoulders. Tenderly, she pushed me down and lifted my hips so she could slide my bottoms off. I saw myself as if I was looking down from the white ceiling, each tile with holes the size of snowflakes, a scrawny child lost in a snowfall of sheets, my nipples the centres of cracking ice, my cleft the large footprint of a goose. Shoulders round balls, hip bones snow hills, knees knobby with moguls. She bent across two metal pans, one with soap suds, one with brook-clear water, two clean sponges floating. Devotedly, she washed me. My face first, her sponge nearly hot against my already hot head, my sizzling cheeks, but soon shivery cold, and as the sponge moved downwards, I puckered into gooseflesh and only wanted it all to be over so I could crawl back into my snow cave of white sheets. Rolling to my stomach, the process repeating, neck to toes, the sponge across the thin white ice of my back, across my buttocks like icicle scratches, down my legs prickly as ice skates, across my feet like chunks broken off ice flows.

The snap of fresh sheets.

And I knew I was loved.”

–Jane Eaton Hamilton, novel excerpt, “Snow”

12 or 20 Questions with Rob McLellan

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photo: Jane Eaton Hamilton unknown year, Ladner field

Jane Eaton Hamilton on Rob McLellan’s blog Thanks, Rob, for asking me to participate!

Spring!

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photo: Jane Eaton Hamilton, cherry blossom, 2015

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photo: Jane Eaton Hamilton, cherry blossom 2015

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photo: Jane Eaton Hamilton, magnolia 2015

 

Weekend trailer

The folks at Big Creature Media do it again! Thanks, Big Creature with magic fingertips!

 

 

 

 

YES

I Didn’t Report Because Fuck You

A Shattering Day for Canada’s Survivors

This morning, Jian Ghomeshi was found not guilty on all charges. The judge: “We must fight against the stereotype that all sexual assault complaints are truthful.”

As a survivor who never disclosed to police, I am devastated on behalf of everyone who knows Jian Ghomeshi, who worked with him, who wondered about him or who didn’t have to wonder about him because they (allegedly) knew for sure.

Maybe this verdict is a different experience for people who haven’t been raped or battered, but for survivors, this is crushing. It is crushing not to be believed, to shoulder the burden of both the assault and then on top of it, the disdain from people you both need and are counting on for support and protection. I send respect and admiration for the women in this case who put themselves through the testifying madness in order to save other women from going through what they (allegedly) went through. I’m profoundly sorry, if not surprised, that it didn’t work.

This morning, Canada should be profoundly ashamed of itself.

Canada Is Raping You

The Preludes to Assaults

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