Sunday, February 23, 2014

Claire Cameron

Claire Cameron's first novel, The Line Painter, was nominated for an Arthur Ellis Award for best crime first novel and won the Northern Lit Award from the Ontario Library Service. Cameron's work has appeared in the New York Times, the Globe & Mail, and The Millions. She worked as a wilderness instructor in Ontario's Algonquin Park and for Outward Bound. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.

Her new novel is The Bear.

Recently I asked Cameron about what she was reading. Her reply:
These are five books I recently read and loved.

Perfect by Rachel Joyce

This book is perfect in how it marries form and function. The author tells two alternating stories, one about Bryon and James who are two English school boys in 1972 and one about a fifty something year old man named Jim with obsessive compulsive disorder in the current day. Though the are some things in common between the stories, much of the fun for the reader comes from trying to guess why the two stories are connected.

Pilgrim's Wilderness by Tom Kizzia

A work of non-fiction described by the publisher as Into the Wild meets Helter Skelter. This is exactly right. This is the true story of the Pilgrim family, a Papa, his wife and fifteen children, who ended up in McCarthy, Alaska, near where Kizzia has a cabin. It's the author's balanced approach to the story and his role in it that makes for such a great read.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

This is an epic tale about art thievery, friends and finding a place in the world. The novel is long at just under 800 pages, so reading it feels more like living with it. When I finished, it left a huge gap in my life.

All The Broken Things by Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer

A beautiful novel that is about many things including agent orange, a carnival and bear wrestling, but focused around the relationship between a boy and a bear. The author roots the story in both myth and reality at once. Reading it feels like lucid dreaming. Does that make sense? You should read it and see what I mean.

Swing Low by Miriam Toews

I am a huge fan of Toews' work, but hadn't read this novel until recently. It is now my favorite. The topic is heavy--told in first person, it's the life story of her father, who had committed suicide after a lifetime struggle with bipolar disorder. But, her writing always holds a beautifully judged humor that reminds a reader that the dark and light are two sides of life that come together.
Visit Claire Cameron's website, blog, and Facebook page.

My Book, The Movie: The Line Painter.

--Marshal Zeringue