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New from the Winner of the Writers' Trust of Canada Marian Engel Award and the Governor General's Award for English Fiction
Once touted as compendiums of human knowledge, the encyclopedias and handbooks of bygone eras now read quaintly, if not comicallyyet within their musty pages are often found phrases of uncanny evocative power. Scrupulously stitching such fragments together, in a sequel to the Governor General’s Award-winning Forms of Devotion, By The Book is a collection of verbal and visual collages whose alchemies transform long-dead texts into tales of enduring vitality. With her visually witty full-colour artwork and stories like “What Is A Hat? Where Is Constantinople? Who Was Sir Walter Raleigh? And Many Other Common Questions, Some With Answers, Some Without,” and “Consumptives Should Not Kiss Other People: A Handy Guide to the Care and Maintenance of Your Family’s Good Health,” Schoemperlen’s irreverent and ironic brand of nostalgia combines vintage kitsch with comic, creepy, unexpectedly moving yarns.
Praise for By The Book
“Diane Schoemperlen's By The Book is a bravura performance. Fragments, collage, assemblage, found poetry - none of the conventional words cover it for they miss the fantastic wit, the energy of humour, the divine ability to find comedic ore in the print detritus of our culture. She doesn't rescue texts; with her wicked sense of irony, she actually puts thought where there was none. She infects the banal with the virus of her own brain and makes it into art. Then she makes a picture of itoh, dwell upon the details; there are whole novels lurking in the details.” Douglas Glover
Praise for Diane Schoemperlen
"Schoemperlen's inventive language and narrative structures encourage readers to be free 'from the prison of everyday thinking." New York Times Book Review
"Lovely, clever [and] imaginative." Wall Street Journal
“Cuttingly witty ... Schoemperlen could almost form a school of piquant and inventive fiction with Julie Hecht, Janet Kauffman, and Lydia Davis.” Booklist
"There is no mistaking a Schoemperlen storydevoted to form, faithful to the mysteries of the everyday." The Globe & Mail
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Diane Schoemperlen has published several collections of short fiction and three novels, In the Language of Love (1994), Our Lady of the Lost and Found (2001), and At A Loss For Words (2008). Her 1990 collection, The Man of My Dreams , was shortlisted for both the Governor-General’s Award and the Trillium. Her collection, Forms of Devotion: Stories and Pictures won the 1998 Governor-General’s Award for English Fiction. In 2008, she received the Marian Engel Award from the Writers’ Trust of Canada. In 2012, she was Writer-in-Residence at Queen’s University. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.
Table of Contents
BY THE BOOK OR: ALESSANDRO IN THE NEW WORLD: AN UNLIKELY TALE OF TIME TRAVEL, TRANSLATION, AND TRAGIC LOVE
A NERVOUS RACE: 222 BRIEF NOTES ON THE STUDY OF NATURE, HUMAN OR OTHERWISE
WHAT IS A HAT? WHERE IS CONSTANTINOPLE? WHO WAS SIR WALTER RALEIGH? AND MANY OTHER COMMON QUESTIONS, SOME WITH ANSWERS, SOME WITHOUT
A BODY LIKE A LITTLE NUT: IN WHICH THE BOTANIST LOOKS FOR LOVE IN THE WILD, APPROPRIATES THE ALPHABET, WAXES POETIC, SUCCUMBS TO DESPAIR
HISTORY BECOMES AUTHENTIC OR: THE QUESTION OF THINGS HAPPENING
CRY HAVOC AND LET SLIP THE DOGS OF WAR: A HANDBOOK FOR THE ADVANCED STUDY OF SENTENCES AND PARAGRAPHS
CONSUMPTIVES SHOULD NOT KISS OTHER PEOPLE: A HANDY GUIDE TO THE CARE AND MAINTENANCE OF YOUR FAMILY’S GOOD HEALTH
AROUND THE WORLD IN 100 POSTCARDS: IN WHICH THE GEOGRAPHER MAKES A SURVEY OF THE WORLD, FINDS IT WANTING, COMES TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
A NOTE ON THE ILLUSTRATIONS