Joan Lane wrote in a tiny hamlet in Saskatchewan in the early 1950s. Dane Swan writes in contemporary Toronto. As widely separated as they are in time and place, they share a few traits: keen powers of observation, a deep empathy for the struggles of their character - and classical violin training.
And each of these collections features a story about a young violinist preparing for a competition. Spoiler alert: hard work then, hard work now!
Our violin duet gives you both of these engaging and rich books for the starving musician price of $12 Cdn.
He Doesn't Hurt People Anymore
Seven stories of redemption, reconciliation, and revenge
These seven slices of urban life offer a poet turning his hand to fiction with masterful results. Swift, precise, unflinching but compassionate, Swan’s tales are bound together by his insight into the compromises we make to stay afloat, and the moments when we confront the deals we’ve made or betrayed. Into the ways we hurt, and the ways we heal.
“With curiosity, gentleness and integrity, Swan reimagines the possibilities of a life, of many lives.” The Trillium Award jury’s praise for Swan’s poetry applies equally to his stories. He Doesn’t Hurt People Anymore marks the arrival of a bold, confident voice to the Canadian fiction scene.
You Call This Home
“Because no matter how far away we were, you and I, we could never shake the prairie dust, this puritan prairie dust which blows and blows and blinds us to all that is real and happy.”
A very young girl expresses her anger on the piano when her gravely ill sister commands all of her mother’s love. A caustic teenager observes the ladies of town as her former music teacher reappears with an exotic new husband in tow. An unmarried woman is desperate to keep the niece she has raised since infancy when her brother returns from the city to claim her. Bitter truths, illicit yearnings, and doomed dreams emerge during the final summer gathering at a couple’s beloved home.
Written in the early fifties, when the author was barely 20, these stories offer exquisite depictions of the very young, pitch-perfect snapshots of eternal teenage cynicism, the sorrows of mothers who foresee the lives of their daughters in a flash, and the muffled private heartbreak of women life has swept aside.