Pin It


Claudia Dey

Claudia Dey
(Coach House)
I've always felt a kinship to Claudia Dey, both of us being right-brained alumni of the same lawyer- and engineer-producing high school. The florid style of her plays and her Globe and Mail advice column has a timeless, nearly ethereal quality. Stunt, her first novel, brings to mind the poetry of Gwendolyn Mac-Ewen (the subject of Dey's play The Gwendolyn Poems) or prose of British author Jeanette Winterson, with its mythological allusions and shape-shifting characters. Nine-year-old Eugenia is devastated when her beloved, scatterbrained artist father leaves the family. When her mother runs off as well, she and her sister double in age overnight. On a quest to find the truth, on a quest for the sake of it, Eugenia turns lakeside Toronto into a fictional land, and though the ending's not surprising, it's the journey that's the point. Dey's poetic voice flourishes in her columns and plays, but at times grows unwieldy in a novel. As a child narrator, Eugenia is unconvincing, her language too accomplished, insights too insightful---so it's fitting when she is suddenly grown. Populated by tightrope walkers, washed-up actresses, mysterious neighbours and elaborate, improbable names, Stunt is a delicate, spinning carousel of a book, a sort of urban epic or Canadian magic realism.

Laura Kenins
type: book

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Survey Asks

Should council use the yet-to-be-finalized Centre Plan when debating new developments?

  • No, it doesn’t exist yet and is still likely to change
  • Yes, thousands of hours of work and consultation have gone into what’s already assembled
  • Maybe, it really depends on what’s being proposed by the developer
  • I don’t know what the Centre Plan is and do not wish to participate in this poll

View Results

In Print This Week

Vol 25, No 25
November 16, 2017

Cover Gallery »

Real Time Web Analytics

© 2017 Coast Publishing Ltd.