I Saw Three Ships
West End Stories
About this Item
The eight linked stories in Bill Richardson's I Saw Three Ships, set around Christmastime in Vancouver's beloved West End neighbourhood, take their direction from the seasonal tug-of-war between expectation and disappointment that occurs as the light deepens. The pieces, all irresistibly funny, give shelter to characters whose experiences of transcendence leave them more alienated than consoled. Rosellen, forced to move because her building is slated for demolition, has her last meeting with J.C., the ghost who's entertained (and sometimes tormented) her for the last forty years. Frances, undergoing chemotherapy, discovers a gorgeous wig that might be made from the hair sold by Della in O. Henry's ironic short story "The Gift of the Magi." Bonnie, writing to Peter Gzowski to apprise him of the death of her mother, Gzowski's biggest fan, settles on the best way to disperse her mother's ashes. On Christmas Eve, a man whose name happens to be Leonard Cohen becomes the unwitting plaything of Saint Zita of Lucca and walks through Vancouver's snowy Downtown neighbourhood wearing a wedding gown.
These are quirky stories, sometimes twisted, sometimes tender, intended for anyone who's ever been stuck with their wheels spinning at the corner of Pagan and Holy.