Dance, Gladys, Dance

By Cassie Stocks

Dance, Gladys, Dance
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Winner of the 2013 Leacock MemorialMedal for Canadian Humour Writing!
Long Listed for Canada Reads2018!
Nominated for the First Book Award at the 2013 SaskatchewanBook Awards!
Twenty-seven-year-old Frieda Zweig is at animpasse. Behind her is a string of failed relationships and ... Read more


Overview

Winner of the 2013 Leacock MemorialMedal for Canadian Humour Writing!
Long Listed for Canada Reads2018!
Nominated for the First Book Award at the 2013 SaskatchewanBook Awards!
Twenty-seven-year-old Frieda Zweig is at animpasse. Behind her is a string of failed relationships and half-forgotten ambitionsof being a painter; in front of her lies the dreary task of finding a real joband figuring out what “normal” people do with their lives. Then, a classifiedad in the local paper introduces Frieda to Gladys, an elderly woman who longago gave up on her dreams of being a dancer.

The catch?Gladys is a ghost.

In Dance, Gladys,Dance, Cassie Stocks tells the uplifting story of a woman whoseuncanny connection with a kindred spirit causes her to see her life in a newway—as anything but ordinary.

Cassie Stocks

Cassie Stocks was born in Edmonton, Alberta. She’s been a biker chick, a university student, an actress, and a rich man’s gardener; she’s worked as a waitress, an office clerk, an aircraft cleaner, has raised chickens, and once upon a time, was even the caretaker of a hydroponic pot factory.

Cassie currently lives in Eston, SK, with her son Julian. The 2013 Stephen Leacock winner Dance, Gladys, Dance is her first novel.

Excerpt

ChapterOne
She Needs The Room ToBake

I had no point of navigation but Iwas hell-bent on finding my way to Ordinary. I didn’t know what I hoped to findon that voyage or, God forbid, at the end of it, but I knew there was nothingbut bilge rats and bullshit on the course I’d beenfollowing.

I still awoke at night as if in midthought. Thatcopy of Emerson’s Essays … did Norman keep it? I’d becompelled to run downstairs to the storage room and root through the boxes Ibrought back from Kentucky with me. First, though, I had to rouse Ginny to findthe key. Ginny tolerated these wakings only twice, and then, griping aboutdelusional roommates, she had a copy of the key made and hung it by the condo’sfront door.

It’s a physical deficiency you feel in the middleof the night after a breakup. Oh shit, you lie there thinking. It’snot the books or the brassieres—I’ve left my thighs in his sparecloset.

Along with my ex, Norman, and possibly somemissing-inaction body parts, I’d abandoned my creative spirit in Kentucky too,left it disintegrating underneath a tree beside the Barren River (symbolicallyenough), buried alongside the last paintings I swore I would everdo.

Ginny had left the newspaper on the kitchen table foldedopen to the employment section, alongside a conspicuously placed red pen. I satdown at the table and wriggled in the chair. Ginny’s condo is the Shrine toDesign: titanium white walls, ebony floors, leather furniture, and none of theclocks had numbers. I could never tell what time it was, not that I hadanything to be late for. The two kitchen chairs were Bertoia Wire Chairs, sanscushions. The wire frame was incredibly uncomfortable and my butt would bedented like a reverse waffle when I stood up. If the other items in the roomand I were featured in a certain Sesame Street game, I’d beone of the things that’s not like the others.

I unfolded thepaper and turned past the help-wanted ads to the furniture-for-sale column. I’dbe getting my own place again, someday. It didn’t cost anything to look and Iwanted to feast my eyes on the cost of a nice flat-bottomed kitchenchair.

Underneath the amazing queen mattress & box, costover $1100, sell $495, there it was:

B EA U T I F U L old phonograph for sale. 78 record player.
Excellentcondition. Gladys doesn’t dance anymore.
She needs the room to bake. Bring offer. Ph. 254-9885.

Awards

  • LEACOCK MEMORIAL MEDAL FOR CANADIAN HUMOUR WRITING 2013, Winner
  • Canada Reads 2018, Long-listed

Reviews

"Iloved hanging out with the characters in this book. "
~ Joy Fisher,The Coastal Spectator

"Dance, Gladys, Danceis a lovely demonstration of the importance of creating, whether it’s art,friends or food. Connection—reaching out to others—is the ultimate value ofthis charming and thoughtful novel. "
~ The Globe andMail

"[a]nentertaining blend of humour and pathos, friends and families, the living andthe dead. "
~ Anjana Balakrishnan, HerizonsMagazine

"[t]hecharacters are zany and interesting, and, while Stocks has a witty tone, shedeals with very serious, sometimes downright devastating,themes. "
~ Caroline Barlott, Avenue Edmonton

Reader Reviews

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