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Pickle Me This

May 26, 2010

On the occasion of Harriet's first birthday– A TNQ Giveaway!

Because it is a truth universally acknowledged that there is nothing more boring than a mother marvelling that her child is actually one year older than she had been 365 days previous, I will sweeten the deal for you with a giveaway (see below). In the meantime, allow me to wish my favourite grass-grazing, scone-eating, bath-splashing, book-chewing, mommy-kissing, tea-pouring (imaginary), scream-uttering, world-charming, fast-crawling, quick-squirming, noodle-devouring, all-night-sleeping baby, Ms. Harriet (who is my prime distraction, main occupation, the one subject of which I will never, ever tire [though I will tire, oh yes I will, and I have]) a very happy first birthday. It has been a year that’s turned my pickled piglet into an honest-to-goodness person, albeit a still-quadrupedal one. It’s simply been an eternity, and it’s all disappeared in a flash.

There. Thank you. And for your patience, A TNQ Giveaway!

I have an one-year subscription to give away to my favourite magazine in the world, The New Quarterly. TNQ is fiction, poetry, features, art, profiles, creative non-fiction and more. TNQ is never the same, but always gorgeously produced, the work is always thoughtful and interesting, containing stories that have absolutely blown my mind. I read Alison Pick for the first time there, and Carrie Snyder, and Terry Griggs, and Amy Jones, and Zsuszi Gartner. I love the “Magazine as Muse” section. The Editor’s letters are always a pleasure to read, and full of treasures themselves. In short, four times a year, TNQ comes into my world and makes it a better place. And now you have the chance to make yours similarly enhanced. (Providing you’re a Canadian resident. So sorry, my international friends!)

To win a one-year subscription to The New Quarterly on the occasion of Harriet’s birthday, email me (klclare AT gmail com) and tell me who is your favourite literary baby. (You don’t have one? Come on…). Deadline is Saturday May 29th at midnight. Winner will be chosen randomly OR I will pick my very favourite, if one is so astounding.

And anyone who chooses Margaret Atwood’s “Hairball” is disqualified.

17 thoughts on “On the occasion of Harriet's first birthday– A TNQ Giveaway!”

  1. Rebecca says:

    This is an excellent contest–good idea, great prize. I don’t need to enter, since I already have a TNQ subscription (and couldn’t live without it) but I want my favourite literary baby in the limelight, too, so I hope you don’t mind me posting her here: Witch Baby, from Francesca Lia Block’s *Weetzie Bat*:

    “At first it was not easy. Witch Baby was a wild witch baby. The name Lily never stuck. As soon as she could walk, she would run all over the house like a mad cat, playing torpedo games. As soon as she could talk, she would go around chanting, “Beasts, beasts, beasts,” over and over again.

    “Who taught her that?” Weetzie asked Duck suspiciously.

    “I swear, she just knew it,” Duck said. “Pretty creepy, huh?”

  2. I suppose Rosemary’s baby doesn’t count, either?

  3. Carrie says:

    I greatly enjoyed your ode to a one-year-old! No patience needed.
    Great contest, great idea. Maybe I’ll do something like that too. I LOVE TNQ! (and already have a subscription … favourite literary baby, off the top of my head, is the baby in Margaret Drabble’s The Millstone, though it’s really the mother that I love; I read it every pregnancy).

  4. m says:

    Happy birthday to your sweet girl! I’ve found the first birthday is more about the parents than the child–so emotional, such a milestone! Congratulations!

    This was harder than I thought it would be! So many kids in literature, but babies? Hard to think of any.

    My two favourites, because one is sort of cheating, are:
    *Laisha Rosnau’s poem ‘Boy’ from Lousy Explorers. (This is the cheating one because it’s more about birth and that the boy being birthed I know and love in real life.)

    *The baby in Sara O’leary’s Where You Came From as drawn by Julie Morstad. Love, love, love.

  5. Frédérique says:

    My favourite literary baby is Ede from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “A Baby Party”.

    “It was little Ede as a definite piece of youth that chiefly interested him. He liked to take her on his lap and examine minutely her fragrant, downy scalp and her eyes with their irises of morning blue.”

    My favourite fictional baby (all categories) is Maggie Simpson!!!

  6. Angie Abdou says:

    My favourite literary baby — Baby Pip in Nicola Keegan’s SWIMMING. She’s a pure colicky red-faced nighmare … until she hits the water (and doesn’t resurface until three Olympic Games and a pile of medals later … when she returns to being a pure colicky red-faced nightmare, in her late 20s).

    Happy birthday, baby!

  7. Rebecca says:

    Uh, I was so excited about the contest I forgot to say: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HARRIET!

  8. Andrew M says:

    Definitely Baby Nostradamus from Sal Plascencia’s great, great novel, “The People of Paper.” He cryptically predicts the future, knows the exact temperatures of halos, and is downright lovable!

  9. Nanny says:

    Perhaps almost as boring is the Nanny of the Happy Birthday girl….
    Have a grand day!!!!

  10. The Peepo photo brings back memories. This book was read many times in our home for son and daughter.

    As for favourite literary baby, I would name American author Patricia MacLachlan’s ,Sophie, a character in her novel, Baby. Sophie is an endearing baby who brings love and courage to a family. This novel is a treasure, just like Sophie, just like all of our children.

  11. Nathalie says:

    Damn! Hairball is such a great “baby,” all chocolate-covered, delicately wrapped and stinking of formaldehyde. My fave babe is Terry Griggs’s Baby Stink from _The Lusty Man_.

  12. Mr. B says:

    I liked “Egg” from John Irving’s Hotel New Hampshire. I like the pre-birth label sticking with the child. Poor Egg, died with his mother in the ocean with Sorrow.

  13. carin says:

    What a great way to celebrate this special event. Love TNQ. And Happy Birthday to your oh-so-adorable Ms. Harriet!

    My lit baby choice is without a doubt Jordon from Jeanette Winterson’s SEXING THE CHERRY,
    who’s “fished from the stinking Thames” by the grotesque Dog Woman who then becomes his mother because (how else does one become a mother?) she loved him.

    Happily, I already have a TNQ subscription, though my local library does not.

    Thanks for this!

  14. Kerry says:

    I’ve received some amazing email submissions too– two for the Duchess’s baby from Alice in Wonderland, Jem from Anne’s House of Dreams.

    Rosemary’s Baby totally counts– I love that book, and he did have “his father’s eyes”.

    All these are wonderful! This is fun.

  15. I don’t need to be entered (although I am still Canadian in every way but my address!)… but I’ve gotta give a shout out for my new favourite literary baby – James in The Cuckoo Boy by Grant Gillespie. Spooky as hell but still believable (and all the spookier for it).

  16. Joan says:

    And how about Anne and Gilbert’s Rilla whom I absolutely adored and amazing Aurora who was found resting on an ice flow just off the Banks of Newfoundland in Joan Clark’s Latitudes of Melt?

  17. Charlotte says:

    I couldn’t think of a single literary baby that wasn’t either a plot device or a character who spends most of the book grown up! But nevertheless, a happy birthday to the young Miss!

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