New Star Blogs

A Short Sad Book still hip at 40


This year Cana­da turns 150, BC turns 146, and George Bow­er­ing’s post­mod­ern his­tor­i­cal detec­tive romance A Short Sad Book turns 40. To mark all these occa­sions and more we’ve reis­sued A Short Sad Book with cov­er art by John Boyle, a bril­liant­ly fun intro­duc­tion by Erín Moure, and an illu­mi­nat­ing after­word by George Bow­er­ing him­self.

Here’s James W. Woods in the Van­cou­ver Sun on A Short Sad Book’s con­tin­ued rel­e­vance:

A Short Sad Book is a delight­ful picaresque romp that bor­rows freely in mat­ters of style from the ear­ly 20th-cen­tu­ry Amer­i­can exper­i­men­tal­ist Gertrude Stein: the spir­it of Cana­di­an lit­er­a­ture is chased up, down and across the coun­try, sought in vain, with both the author and his read­ers learn­ing much about what it means to be Cana­di­an in the process. …

This book fair­ly brims over with inven­tion, from its dis­tinc­tive spelling and punc­tu­a­tion to its hunger to define, almost by lack of def­i­n­i­tion, this nation. …

The casu­al style, jokes and the book’s com­pact length all con­spire to seduce the read­er into an impres­sion of lev­i­ty. Under­neath such appar­ent lev­i­ty, how­ev­er, lie many themes as impor­tant to Cana­da today as they were 40 years ago.

A Short Sad Book can be found at book­stores across this coun­try both real and imag­ined, and at