12 Days of CanLit: 6 Mid-Life Crises

We’re doing a spin on the classic holiday ditty, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” with our 12 Days of CanLit series this holiday season. Sing along with our countdown of themed book picks, straight down to our number 1 (that’s 78 books in all!).On our seventh day of the 12 Days of CanLit, All Lit Up is changing things up (dramatically!) with 6 mid-life crises.


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There have been so many great books in our Twelve Days of CanLit, you might be having a crisis of the prioritization variety. Thus, it’s only fitting that today we feature 6 characters in the throes of a mid-life crisis. 
by Christopher MacPherson (Nightwood Editions)
Pick this one up for the Jpod fan who just hit 40-something.Colin MacDonald is a happily married, proud father of three kids with a minivan to prove it. Civil servant by day, he spends his nights writing the vampire-zombie apocalypse novel we’ve all been waiting for. But mounting pressures at work and the passing of his father has Colin acting a bit abnormal: pursuing pedophiles through the park, stealing teddy bears, and coming dangerously close to an affair with a Jennifer Beals look-alike. And then there’s that thing in the garage… 
by Daniel MacIvor (Banff Centre Press/Playwrights Canada Press)
Based on The Tale of Genji, one of the world’s oldest pieces of literature, Daniel MacIvor’s script takes us into the secret heart of Japan as experienced by the visiting outsider. On a publicity tour in Japan, Canadian author Carl finds himself falling in love amidst the Noh theatres and the dance clubs in Tokyo, wired on cocaine and sake. While Carl lusts after the young, seductive actor, Yori, Nushi, Carl’s translator and Yori’s younger sister, becomes besotted with the aging writer.  
by John O’Neil (Guernica Editions)
“I’m just trying to parlay lust into a lifestyle”.When Leonard’s wife predicts his death within the year, it unleashes his fight-or-flight instinct. In an effort to change fate, he starts an affair with a former student, engages in a series of petty crimes, neglects his dying mother, and moves in with his strange, disaffected nephew.
by Trevor Clark (Now or Never)
Derrick Rowe figures it’s time to man up and stop stealing cash from the bookstore he manages; he’s recently turned to robbing banks, instead. Rowe soon enlists an old buddy and a tough young clerk at the bookstore for his next heist, but the armed bank robbery becomes a drive-by shooting that leads to a violent climax involving Rowe, his mates, the police, and several gangsters.
by Karen Hofmann (NeWest Press)
Having escaped her childhood home to find an exciting life and career, retired professor Sidonie von Täler returns to the ancestral Okanagan valley orchards after the dead of her eldest sister, Alice. As she sifts through the detritus of her family history, Sidonie is haunted by memories of familial trauma and triumph in equal measure, and struggles to reconcile the family’s past with her present, and find a way to reconnect with the people she left behind. 
by Shari Lapena (Brindle & Glass)
Shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour.Will Thorne might be facing a bit (okay, a lot) of writer’s block, but he’s still trying to make a name. Pressured by a starving fellow poet and supported by his wife’s successful career as an economist, Will establishes The Poets’ Preservation Society, a genteel organization to help poets in need. But after Will meets the enigmatic and athletic Lily White, he becomes inspired to take guerrilla action in support of poets everywhere. Poetry meets parkour and culture clashes with commerce in this hilarious look at how we measure the value of art.
*****Let’s all pull ourselves back together and return for tomorrow’s post, in which we delve sheaf-deep into Prairie writing. Also, catch up with our entire series by heading here.