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October's Author of the Month: LYNN COADY

Tuesday, Oct 01, 2019 at 4:57pm

Lynn Coady is a Canadian novelist, journalist and TV writer, originally from Nova Scotia and now living in Toronto. Coady's first book, Strange Heaven (1998), was nominated for a Governor General's Award. Her 2011 novel, The Antagonist, was shortlisted for the 2011 Giller Prize and her 2013 collection of short stories, Hellgoing, about characters going through their own personal versions of hell, won the Giller Prize that year. She has published six books of fiction.

Since 2014 Lynn has worked on such TV series as Orphan Black, Sensitive Skin, Michael: Every Day, Mary Kills People, The Disappearance and Burden of Truth.

After her mother’s sudden death, Karen finds herself back in her childhood home in Nova Scotia for the first time in a decade, acting as full-time caregiver to Kelli, her older sister in Watching You Without Me. Overwhelmed with grief and the daily needs of Kelli, who was born with a developmental disability, Karen begins to feel consumed by the isolation of her new role. On top of that, she’s weighed down with guilt over her years spent keeping Kelli and their independent-to-a-fault mother, Irene, at arm’s length. And so when Trevor — one of Kelli’s support workers — oversteps his role and offers friendly advice and a shoulder to cry on, Karen gratefully accepts his somewhat overbearing friendship. When she discovers how close Trevor was to Irene, she comes to trust him all the more. But as Trevor slowly insinuates himself into Karen and Kelli’s lives, Karen starts to grasp the true aspect of his relationship with her mother — and to experience for herself the suffocating nature of Trevor’s “care.”

Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author of the Month

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Watching You Without Me

- by Lynn Coady

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After her mother's sudden death, Karen finds herself back in her childhood home in Nova Scotia for the first time in a decade, acting as full-time caregiver to Kelli, her older sister. Overwhelmed with grief and the daily needs of Kelli, who was born with a developmental disability, Karen begins to feel consumed by the isolation of her new role. On top of that, she's weighed down with guilt over her years spent keeping Kelli and their independent-to-a-fault mother, Irene, at arm's length. And so when Trevor -- one of Kelli's support workers -- oversteps his role and offers friendly advice and a shoulder to cry on, Karen gratefully accepts his somewhat overbearing friendship. When she discovers how close Trevor was to Irene, she comes to trust him all the more. But as Trevor slowly insinuates himself into Karen and Kelli's lives, Karen starts to grasp the true aspect of his relationship with her mother -- and to experience for herself the suffocating nature of Trevor's "care."

Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author Lynn Coady delivers a creepy and wholly compelling novel about the complex relationship between mothers and daughters and sisters, women and men, and who to trust and how to trust in a world where the supposedly selfless act of caregiving can camouflage a sinister self-interest.

Hellgoing

- by Lynn Coady

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Shortlisted for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, and winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize for 2013. With astonishing range and depth, Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist Lynn Coady gives us eight unforgettable new stories, each one of them grabbing our attention from the first line and resonating long after the last. A young nun charged with talking an anorexic out of her religious fanaticism toys with the thin distance between practicality and blasphemy. A strange bond between a teacher and a schoolgirl takes on ever deeper, and stranger, shapes as the years progress. A bride-to-be with a penchant for nocturnal bondage can't seem to stop bashing herself up in the light of day. Equally adept at capturing the foibles and obsessions of men and of women, compassionate in her humour yet never missing an opportunity to make her characters squirm, fascinated as much by faithlessness as by faith, Lynn Coady is quite possibly the writer who best captures what it is to be human at this particular moment in our history.

The Antagonist

- by Lynn Coady

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Winner of the 2012 Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction and shortlisted for the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize. A finalist for the prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize, and named one of the best books of the year by Amazon, the Globe and Mail, and the Toronto Star, The Antagonist tells the story of Gordon Rankin ("Rank"), a former hockey enforcer driven to seek revenge on a old friend who has published a novel revealing Rank's deepest secret. The hulking Gordon Rankin has spent his life cast as an enforcer, a goon -- by his classmates, his coaches, and especially his own father, Gordon Senior, an unfortunate victim of small man syndrome. Rank duly accepts his role and spends the majority of his high school and university years implementing the violent commands of others. Until one day tragedy strikes, with only Rank to blame. With nobody to turn to, he disappears. But almost twenty years later Rank discovers that an old, trusted friend -- the only person to whom he has ever confessed his sins -- has published a novel mirroring Rank's life. The betrayal cuts to the deepest core of him, and forces Rank to confront the tragic true story from which he's spent his whole life running. A diatribe, a prayer, an ode to what it means to be a man, Rank's painful, suspenseful, and often hilarious journey grabs us by the throat and the heart and never lets us go. This is Rank's turn to finally set the record straight.