The Next Chapter·Dog-Eared Reads

Why Grace O'Connell reads Robertson Davies' Deptford Trilogy every single year

The author of Be Ready for the Lightning discusses one of her favourite books.
The author of Be Ready for the Lighting considers The Deptford Trilogy a masterpiece. (Dani Couture/McClelland & Stewart)

Grace O'Connell was the 2014 winner of the Canadian Author Association's Emerging Writer Award and teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto. Her novel Be Ready for the Lightning explores troubled family dynamics and finding bravery during crisis situations.

O'Connell reads Robertson Davies' Deptford Trilogy every year. This interview originally aired on Jan. 22, 2018.

"The book I love to reread on an almost annual basis is the Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies (Fifth Business, The Manticore and World of Wonders.) Treated as one novel, the three of them together are as close to a masterpiece as I've ever encountered. They're just incredible books.

"I think the Deptford Trilogy is sometimes relegated to the dusty period of CanLit that we've put on the shelves and think that we don't need anymore, but if you dig into these novels you will see there is absolutely nothing out of date or dusty about them. Not only are they incredibly gripping but they are raunchy, strange, upsetting and bizarre. The emotional narratives are strange and gripping."

Grace O'Connell's comments have been edited and condensed.