I told someone a story because I knew they would spread it. Stories were told to me with the same intent. Between women in Canlit, these circulated narratives are often about men in the community. Charming abusers. Tenured predators. Shitty men with track records of repeated shittiness. Let’s be explicit: women don’t take joy from these stories, in being the orator or the audience.
I’m joining the team as the new CNF Editor. I’m ready to read all your nonfiction—but I have a particular fondness for the lyric essay, the flash essay, striking memoir, non-consumptive travel writing, interviews with surprising people, critical essays that teach us something, care about language and can be appreciated by a general audience, and mixed-or-hybrid prose pieces that actively redefine what creative non-fiction can be and do.
Paige Cooper’s stories have appeared in a number of excellent journals and have been anthologized in The Journey Prize Stories and Best Canadian Stories. Her debut collection Zolitude was published by Biblioasis this past February. Hailing from Canmore, based in Montreal, and traveling widely in person and on the page, Paige creates fictional worlds that resist easy categorization or resolution. Brad de Roo spoke with her about narrative corruption, artistic tourism, short story form, and ‘the splashy chaos of reality.’
THE CNFC AND CARTE BLANCHE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THEIR 2017–2018 CREATIVE NONFICTION CONTEST SHORTLIST.
The winner will be announced on May 5 in Toronto, ON at the 14th annual CNFC conference.Read more →
Antigone Undone, the latest book by Montreal writer Will Aitken (University of Regina Press), is a fascinating and emotionally driven look at Aitken’s behind-the-scenes experience of a production of Antigone directed by Ivo Van Hove, starring Juliette Binoche, with a translation by Anne Carson. From strolling around Luxembourg where the play débuted, to a tense few days in Amsterdam, and back to Montreal, Aitken gives the reader a deeply personal glimpse at an episode of depression that was sparked by encountering Antigone, both the play and the character. Using his own experience as a starting point, Aitken then explores various interpretations of Antigone, through scholarly texts and through interviews with Binoche, Carson and Van Hove about the play. By blending genres and exploring the stylistic elements of memoir, travelogue, essay, and academic writing, it’s a beautiful book that examines the vast power art has over us, in both its creative and destructive capacities.
One of my biggest insights has been this: that one book can connect with readers for so many different reasons. I’m so heartened by this realization. That we writers can write one story and diverse souls will connect with many aspects of it. I mean, I always understood this theoretically, as one learns when studying literary theory in university, but, until my book got published, I never understood the freedom this gives an author.
Emily Keeler, my editor when I wrote book reviews for The National Post, asked me if I had any ideas for a long-essay-short-book when she took over Coach House’s Exploded Views line. The idea for Curry came from the way I read, which is to pick up an increasing number of books around a central subject I have an undefined interest in–Emily asking that question at the right time led me to actually nail down the reasons why I’d been reading old or atypical novels, memoirs, and travelogues about India. Much of it had to do with the way that market forces seemed to want from my writing, if what I wanted from my writing was money–which, I’m afraid, is true to a not inconsiderable degree.