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Pickle Me This

May 31, 2015

Close to Hugh in Globe Books

close-to-hughMy review of Marina Endicott’s new novel, Close to Hugh, appeared in the Globe and Mail this weekend. It’s a book so very much about its own style, its words as materials, and I found myself wanting to respond in a way that honoured that. I’m so pleased with what I came up with, which was a pleasure to write, because there is so much remarkable and interesting about Endicott’s huge and sprawling novel. It’s not perfect, but it’s never boring, and it’s so original and ambitious. I read it twice in April, book-ends to our England trip, and now I’ve got nostalgia now for its pages and how they remind me of suitcases and waiting for our taxi to come.

From my review: “Rich with adjectives, the novel addresses huge and general questions about the meaning of life and the universe with remarkable specificity. ‘We are tiny, unknowable, unimaginably unimportant, far from everything, only close to each other,’ one character observes, which on a macro level is the point of Close to Hugh but, as the novel demonstrates, is also totally wrong. Because of how art itself brings the world into startling, vivid focus, and suddenly every little thing has meaning after all.”

Read the whole thing here.

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