Sunday, April 7, 2013
Reading Journal: The Obvious Child, by Matt Shaw (2007)
Headlined by its Journey Prize-winning opener, "Matchbook for a Mother's Hair," this story collection is one of the most varied I've ever read, including everything from a sexual coming-of-age in this first story, a riff on a detective story ("Dreschl & The Obvious Child"), the metafictional "After the Doctor Died in his Novel" and the closer, "Jurisprudence," which approaches the magic realist. The prose is dense and the stories don't just encourage re-reading, they almost require it. One of the braver Canadian debut collections in recent years, and not your usual CanLit fare - I didn't love it, but there is definitely some talent on display here.