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Birrell, Heather

Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

It’s been a while since I’ve last read, for reasons whose details I won’t serenade you with, but which have to do with huge, overwhelming, life-changing projects that ultimately will leave me with more time to do this more often (I’ll need a little luck, if you want to drop some in the mail), but which, at the moment, have me submerged and often feeling not unlike drowning (or what I imagine drowning is not-unlike. I’ve never actually drowned.)

Then I received an email from Evan Munday at Toronto’s Coach House Books, asking if I had interest in reading from Heather Birrell’s latest collection. Let me assure you now that a response of “WOULD I‽” does not come across to full effect in email if not accompanied by a look of wide-eyed promise and a rare display of teeth (even with the interrobang). Some of you might remember my enthusiasm at reading Birrell’s Trouble at Pow Crash Creek (from I Know You Are But What Am I? a couple of years ago. I promise you that the new collection, Mad Hope, is, impossibly, even more beautifully wrought, more intellectually finely tuned, and more gut-wrenching. You’ll see what I mean when you listen.

(Thanks Evan and Coach House for the book. Thanks Heather for the collection. Lest you think this is shilly, I was under no obligation whatsoever to read from the collection. Like most makers of book-derived things on the Internet, publishers send me books all the time, which I often read and sometimes like, but which are rarely suited for the little sanctum I’ve got here. Happy weekend!)

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By miette

Miette has been podcasting the best of world literature's short fiction since March 2005, when she was just a pup.

6 replies on “Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning”

Great to have you streaming back into my Downcast* ears.

Am on a bit of a contemporary Canada kick at the moment (just recorded Laura Boudreau reading Rebecca Rosenblum and Alexander MacLeod reading me some Elizabeth Bishop), so keen to read more.

HB ticks all my prose boxes. Thank you.

*is that what the app I use is *really* called? suddenly seemed wholly appropriate/inappropriate…

Love your podcast, Miette, glad that you’re back. Just ordered a copy of Birrell’s first collection and the next one is on pre-order — thanks for the introduction to her work. In return, a recommendation for you: “Binocular Vision” by Edith Pearlman.

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