--Ithaca Times (New York)
Taking the Stairsby John Stiles
Jarod Palmer is a 32-year-old Toronto writer waiting for his big break--though a small one will do. Haunted by his story of tragic teenage sweethearts in smalltown Nova Scotia--featuring the unforgettable Lana Banana--Jarod is infected by the ancient mariner's curse on all young unpublished novelists to "tell/b>
Longlisted for the 2009 Relit Award for the novel
Jarod Palmer is a 32-year-old Toronto writer waiting for his big break--though a small one will do. Haunted by his story of tragic teenage sweethearts in smalltown Nova Scotia--featuring the unforgettable Lana Banana--Jarod is infected by the ancient mariner's curse on all young unpublished novelists to "tell the tale." The problem is that he is trying to pursue his solitary and introspective task in a city that feels like a film set: "the lights are on all the time."
Between answering constant phone calls from his doting, overprotective mother and a perpetually neurotic, alcoholic and soon-to-be-divorced film producer determined to convince Jarod into plying his trade for the "dark side," Jarod finds time to communicate just as ineffectively with his volatile Spanish girlfriend.
His pursuit of work gives new meaning to the term "odd job": dishwasher, copywriter, telemarketer, door-to-door salesman, film set gofer . . . One day, despite a $50-per-hour press-release-writing gig, Jarod finds himself at a restaurant table with his girlfriend, a bottle of ketchup, a bill, and not a dime in his pocket.
Sorting through life in the city, writing, rejection letters from publishers, jobs, and a rocky relationship, Taking the Stairs is fast-moving, risky and infectiously fun. This is the story of Jarod Palmer's self-discovery--a coming-of-age for the soon-to-be-evicted. It's the perfect book for anyone who's ever found themselves an elevator-ride away from their dreams.
--Ithaca Times (New York)
--Mike Landry, Novel Things
--Midwest Book Review
- Nightwood Editions
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)
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Meet the Author
John Stiles was born in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. His debut novel, The Insolent Boy, received acclaim in Canada and the US. He has written two collections of poetry: Scouts Are Cancelled: The Annapolis Valley Poems (2002) and Creamsicle Stick Shivs (2006). John's writing has appeared in numerous journals and magazines such as Pagitica, The Literary Review of Canada, Storyteller Magazine, Taddle Creek and the anthology The IV Lounge Reader. John's documentaries have appeared on Much Music and in International film festivals across Canada. He currently lives in London, UK. A documentary film about his struggles as a writer (strongly resembling Taking the Stairs) is currently on the festival circuit; it has appeared at Toronto's Hot Docs and won the Atlantic Film Festival's top documentary prize.
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