In the language of love : a novel in 100 chapters

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9780006479499: In the language of love : a novel in 100 chapters

Nominated for a SmithBooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award, selected by Toronto Star critic Philip Marchand as one of the year’s ten best novels, and the recipient of excellent reviews, In the Language of Love is Diane Schoemperlen’s innovative and imaginative first novel. Schoemperlen, who won the 1999 Governor General’s Award for Fiction for her short story collection Forms of Devotion, is a gifted writer, unafraid to play with literary convention. In the Language of Love is a perfect example, a novel in 100 chapters that uses the 100 stimulus words from the Standard Word Association as a framework. It is the story of Joanna, who has been brought up to believe that if she just does the right thing, happiness will be hers. As she discovers, life and love are determined more by chance than by control.

In the Language of Love is a tour de force of deadpan wit and word play, drawing profound insights from the seemingly ordinary details of one woman’s daily life.

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About the Author:

Diane Schoemperlen is the Governor General’s Award winning author of twelve works of fiction and non-fiction, most recently By the Book: Stories and Pictures, a collection illustrated with her own full-colour collages, which was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She is a recipient of the Marian Engel Award from the Writers’ Trust of Canada.

From Publishers Weekly:

Joanna is a collage artist, an appropriate calling for the protagonist of one of the finest montages of language to head south from Canada since Margaret Atwood's Surfacing. In her first novel, Schoemperlen (author of The Man of My Dreams, 1990, and three other story collections) has taken 100 words from the 1910 Kent-Rosanoff Word Association Test and used each as a chapter title. The result is an elegant pastiche of forms that conveys-in non-chronological free-association-the story of Joanna's everywoman life. Unlike Joanna, who "begins to see her life in sections... so that [except for her parents] none of the characters from one stage leak forward into the next," the narrative bleeds across time: one chapter tells of all the houses Joanna has lived in or has wanted with the three loves of her life. These men are Henry, a guitar-playing truck driver; Lewis, her married lover, an artist who compartmentalized well enough to work on several paintings at once; and Gordon, the man she married. Most poignant, however, perhaps are the vignettes with Joanna's father and son. Widower Clarence seems to take his bitter wife's death as "the end of possibility"; Joanna's young son, Samuel, filters word and meaning with the same nimble clarity as his mother. With this novel, Schoemperlen triumphantly establishes her literary credentials. 25,000 first printing; $25,000 ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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