metro mama

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Metro Reco: The Fahrenheit Twins

The short story is my favourite form, and I’m always looking for new authors who write them (I also think it the most difficult genre in which to write). So, I was very happy to discover Michel Faber. His latest collection, The Fahrenheit Twins is stark, brutal, brilliant and highly original.

In “The Eyes of the Soul”, an ingenious invention makes life a lot more beautiful for a single mother trapped in a tough urban neighbourhood.

In “Serious Swimmers”, a recovering heroin addict reconnects with her son and is left “blasted open and infused” by a maternal instinct she didn’t know she possessed.

I can barely write about “The Smallness of the Action”, a chilling story about a woman with undiagnosed PPD (I recommend you skip this one if you have any extra hormones in your system right now).

In “Finesse”, the lives of a surgeon’s family depend on her successful operation on a ruthless dictator.

The collection of stories examines society’s outcasts: the mentally ill, addicted, physically deformed, murderous. From how the world sees them to how they see themselves, Faber is bold and bewitching.

Michel Faber lives in the Scottish Highlands. He has written five previous books and has won several short story awards.

I have copies for the first three to email me at


Cake or Death

I've missed Heather Mallick since she left the Globe and Mail. I can't bring myself to buy Chatelaine, so I was making do without her fine, trenchant writing until I saw her new book, Cake or Death: The Excruciating Choices of Everyday Life.

The book, a collection of original essays, covers a wide range of topics, from why women are more interesting than men, to why you should love to pay taxes. The essays are witty, brash and astute.

I find a lot to agree with Mallick about: the satisfaction to be gleaned from clean, well-ordered home, made so by your own two hands; a love for privacy and Paris; an appreciation for Atwood, Munro, good cheese and Côtes du Rhône; and, of course, her far-to-the-left views.

I think she’s a little harsh on the Americans (her diatribes against Bush are obviously an exception), but I do love someone who speaks her mind. And that she does.



I belong to a group that helps out neighbours in time of need (meals for family with new baby, etc). As you know, I’m a terrible cook but I do have two casseroles I make, plus I can usually hit up McH to help out with potlucks and things.

As luck would have it, I need to make a meal on Monday and McH won’t be able to help. Plus, the family doesn’t eat dairy, and both my casseroles have cheese in them. Any suggestions for me? Preferably something they don’t have to heat in case the weather is hot?



Blogger SciFi Dad said...

If you like short stories and (as I know you are) if you're a Canadiana fan, you will love W.D. Valgardson. The man can make 20 pages about driving through northern Manitoba interesting!

3:25 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

I'm sorry, I just don't cook... Perhaps a vegetarian lasagna of some sort? Or a shepherd's pie? Gift certificates to Swiss Chalet?

4:42 PM  
Blogger jen said...

i want that short story book but fear i am too late. damn.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Gabriella said...

Hmmm...I would suggest a pasta salad, not too sure if it would be filling enough. I'm trying to think of something they don't have to heat up, but it's tough. If I think of something I'll come back.

11:28 PM  
Blogger Beck said...

Is the family vegetarian or do they just not eat dairy? I have a good blackbean soup recipe that is a) excellent, b) easy and c) vegan, so that should fill the bill, if you need it. Throw in some mix-made cornbread and you have a really nice meal. Let me know at my site and I'll email you the recipe if you want it.

9:58 AM  
Blogger NotSoSage said...

I have an amazing bean recipe (vegan and so tasty and incredibly easy to preprare). It has to be heated, but it can be done in the microwave, rather than the oven, so it might be perfect.

I'll e-mail it to you right now.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who would have thought a suggestion of a bean salad was snarky. We must come from two different planets. I am terribly sorry if this offended you.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Lisa b said...

How do you find time to read all these books. you are killling me.
I will have to get this one too.

10:34 PM  
Blogger cinnamon gurl said...

Probably too late but I do a potato salad with a balsamic/dijon dressing with some dried dill, green beans cut into about one-inch pieces, steamed, and a red pepper sliced long and thinly. I also add about a quarter to half a cup of chopped dill pickles, and add a couple of tablespoons of the brine to the dressing in place of some of the vinegar. I think it's pretty good and it's easier than it looks all written down. (We usually have it with salmon or veggie burgers but I've had it by itself too.) Feel free to email me if you want more detail...

8:38 AM  

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