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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Reader's Diary #2247 - Angélique Lalonde: Glorious Frazzled Beings

I don't know if any story from my youth has had as much impact on me as "The Emperor's New Clothes." At least when it comes to judging art in any case. I really struggle with the balance between "just because I don't get it, doesn't mean it's not great" and "really? am I the only one going to point out that the emperor is naked?"

Many of the stories in Angélique Lalonde's Glorious Frazzled Beings fall into the surreal category (especially the ones at the beginning) and that's an area, I'll admit, I struggle with. Are people really getting this? I wondered. Clearly these stories resonated with enough people that the collection is a finalist for a Giller Prize. 

Fortunately, I did enjoy the more lucid stories, and even the more more lucid moments in the surreal stories. In these I thought there was a lot of great exploration on some pretty important topics such as motherhood, race, homelessness, and so on. 

As for the surreal moments? I suppose I enjoyed them a little from a poetic standpoint, but I was hoping for more narrative prose. Lalonde can't really be faulted for that.

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