Thursday, May 21, 2015 |
Among these nine addictive and resonant stories: A teenage boy breaks out of the strict confines of his family, his bid for independence leads him in over his head. He learns about life in short order and there is no turning back. An actor's penchant for hiding behind a role, on and off stage, is tested to the limits and what he comes to discover finally places him face to face with the truth. With his mother hospitalized for a nervous condition and his father away on long work stints, a boy is sent to another family for his meals. His gradually building relationship with a teenage daughter who has been left handicapped from Polio opens unexpected doors to the world. In the powerful title story, a middle-aged man remeets his former adviser at university, a charismatic and domineering professor dubbed Daddy Lenin. As their tense reunion progresses, secrets from the past painfully revise remembered events and threaten to topple the scaffolding of a marriage. (From McClelland & Stewart)
His hands were balled tightly at his sides, every drop of hurt squeezed out of them. They were wrung clean of pain.
His eyes fell on an oil slick on the garage floor. Iridescent under the fluorescent lighting, it shimmered a palette of queasy, vividly unnatural colours, a petroleum-based aurora borealis that was a perfect reflection of the fear coiling in his gut. It was the most beautiful thing Brewster had seen in a long time. He couldn't take his eyes off it even as he listened to the footsteps drawing nearer and nearer.
From Daddy Lenin and Other Stories by Guy Vanderhaeghe ©2015. Published by McClelland & Stewart.