February 13th, 2015
Earle Birney once wrote, when considering the literary climate of B.C., ‘it is by our lack of ghosts that we are haunted.” Meredith Quartermain, more than fifty years later, is solving the problem. In her collection of short stories about writers and writing, Meredith Quartermain is haunted by the writers who have walked the streets of Vancouver before her, such as Pauline Johnson, Malcolm Lowry, Robin Blaser and Daphne Marlatt. This collection is also a meditation on the nature of creative writing, raising esoteric questions such as: Who is writing whom and what? The writer or the written? The thinker or the alphabet? The calligrapher or the pictograms hidden in the Chinese characters she writes? Publicity materials suggest Quartermain is taking her cue from “genre-bending writers like Robert Walser and Enrique Vila-Matas.” The collection called I, Bartleby (Talonbooks $14.95) blurs the lines between fiction and reality.