metro mama

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Metro Reco: Late Nights on Air

Classes are done until January, and I celebrated by reading my first book in ages that wasn’t assigned reading. I’ll probably only have time for a couple of extra books this month, so it was hard to choose, but I decided to start with the Giller winner, Elizabeth Hay’s Late Nights on Air.

I chose wisely. Set in 1975, the novel centres around the employees of a small radio station in Yellowknife, including: Harry, cynical yet vulnerable disgraced TV veteran from Toronto; Dido, confident broadcaster, enigmatic and bitchy; Gwen, young and insecure, trying to find her voice; Eddy, ambitious and misogynistic. Hay’s characterization is superb, her characters alive on the page.

There is a lot going on in the novel: the behind the scenes world of radio; the political context of the Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline inquiry; First Nations activism; life in the north; love relationships; relationships to nature; the formation of personal identity—there is something for everyone.

Late Nights on Air is elegiac, funny, and thoughtful; the prose is seductive, the descriptions of the landscape so evocative it practically becomes a character in the novel.

Put this one on your Christmas list.

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5 Comments:

Blogger jen said...

oh, good. i need a new book. have you read A Thousand Splendid Suns? Brilliant.

and the SOMK makes me laugh every month. thank you for that. missed you, love.

1:20 PM  
Blogger PunditMom said...

OOOOOO. As a former late nite radio DJ (who knew?), I'll have to check this one out!

3:15 PM  
Blogger nomotherearth said...

Interesting! I second the reco oh Hosseini's book. It's a quich read too.

2:38 AM  
Blogger kgirl said...

can't wait to read this one. we'll have to compare notes.

12:38 AM  
Blogger BOSSY said...

Bossy thinks she remembers books. They have different channels, right?

1:39 PM  

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