Wednesday, September 27, 2006

This, this, this and this

Some notes on Insomniac Press: from eyes outside Toronto.

A great many young writers have had their starts with Insomniac Press and, arguably, the press has been successful in getting media attention for their writers in the past. This could be due to Lynn Crosbie`s widely derided but still remarkable book about Paul Bernardo, Paul's Case. The media firestorm this book created - in Toronto, mind - was a powerful indication that Canadians are not sobre, quiet, church mousey types, or boring, earnest mouth breathers, but rather pissed off farmers with baseball bats looking for fields of ripe pumpkins. Don Cherry crossed with Rosie Dimanno crossed with buddy from the Whitby legion. Look out! Lynn Crosbie made her name with this book, though published a better, more mature book, perhaps Liar, ten years later w/ Anansi.

A great many respected writers have come out of the Insomniac stable - Sherwin Tjia,
(Pedigree Girls and Gentle Fictions), Joe Olmann (Chewing on Tinfoil and This All Will End In Tears), Adrienne Weiss, Awful Gestures, Emily Schultz, Black Coffeee Night, Chris Eaton (The Inactivist, The Grammar Architect), David McGimpsey, (Certifiable) and Olive Senior, recently nomiated for the Governor Generals Award, Canada`s most prestigious literary prize. And now, of course, Nick Thran. The list must go on and on. The jibes and derisions have been, "How many literary awards?" or "Is it an Insomniac book?!!" (meaning?) or "Don`t they have a copy editor?" This of course is petty, catty and boring. And the books have sold, bestseller lists have been attained. Years after the fact, are typos a concern in the works of Shakespearre? Insomniac Press is not Anansi - and it keeps its edge. Like grey hairs, it is an elderly amongst the children.


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