I’m very pleased that The Republic of Dirt will soon be available in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. I’ll be hosting giveaways, doing book club visits (online) and other shenanigans for U.S. and UK readers who would like to get to know the deeply dysfunctional crew at Woefield Farm. In other news, I will also be accepting drawings of mules from UK and U.S. readers because I am generous like that.
In other news, many thanks to Sherie Posesorski for her lovely review of The Truth Commission in the Vancouver Sun.
“Ours is a culture obsessed with sharing personal truths on Facebook, reality TV series and memoirs. Who better than Susan Juby to tackle this hot topic as she does in her in her latest YA novel The Truth Commission — a delight to read on every insightful, provocative, funny and poignant page. She has caught just how many ways truth can be denied in her best-selling Alice MacLeod series showing the creativity of Alice’s imaginative twisting of reality. She has shared the truth about her teen drug and alcohol addiction in her memoir Nice Recovery and revealed her struggles with the ethics of revelation, and its limitations — something she experienced again while writing a crime novel whose plot she had drawn from the life of someone close — without even realizing it. “That’s such a creepy, natural thing for a writer to do,” she has said. “When does using that turn into a betrayal?”
Out of that came the premise for The Truth Commission. The form of the novel — a creative non-fiction assignment — written by Normandy Pale, a Grade 11 student at an Nanaimo arts school is a supple vehicle engagingly embodying the concerns of the novel as does every element — the prickly, vulnerably real characters, the intensity and volatility of their friendships and thorny family relationships.
Norm’s literary idols (and Juby’s, one suspects) are Flannery O’Connor for not “shying away from even the sharpest truths”, David Wallace Foster for his “bitter humour, lists and footnotes” and Oscar Wilde for his droll aphorisms on the fecundity of the human capacity for self-deception.
And the truth is all those elements distinguish Juby’s writing in this splendid novel.”
Finally, I’m on the home stretch of a new novel and am deeply engaged in the battle to cut down my cell phone use and my time-wasting activities on social media. I think Prudence would be proud. She might even let me join the Mighty Pens.