The Age of Cities

Is it possible to be in the closet and not know it? This is a book that speaks of a time when that was entirely possible. Set in the late fifties, the bulk of this novel is spent sketching the banal, yet contented life of Winston; a gentle, middle aged teacher who lives with his mother in a small town outside of Vancouver. Winston: pretty much asexual and seemingly content to stay that way, finds himself unknowingly (yet irresistibly) drawn into a flamboyant circle of friends–whose behaviour he simply regards as urban eccentricity. Don’t be restless, Grubisic’s meticulous depiction of the era and Winston’s somewhat baffling naiveté pay off. The novel culminates in a moment which will ultimately find Winston caught between crisis and selfrealization–and which also brings together elements of the novel which may have seemed extraneous up until that point. Make sure to read The Afterword (Introduction) before you start the novel, Grubisic’s inspiration behind his first book is a pretty cool story and contextualises the novel nicely. Follow up with the appendices for an engaging historical and dialectical overview of the novel’s place in the Canadian/queer cannon, or skip it. Grubisic’s prose is written with enough ease and elegance to stand alone. (Courtney Richardson)

by Brett Joseph Grubisic, $19.95, 239 pgs, Arsenal Pulp Press, 200-341 Water St., Vancouver, BC, V6B1B8, aresenalpulp.com

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