Housekeeping Journals, The

By Jim Nason

Housekeeping Journals, The
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In his debut novel, poet Jim Nason, writing with dignity and wit, takes an unusual look at suffering and dying. Tony Pearce is an imposing presence, but in his carnivalesque world-turned-upside-down, he perceives himself as small and invisible. As he attends to his work he mentally ... Read more


Overview

In his debut novel, poet Jim Nason, writing with dignity and wit, takes an unusual look at suffering and dying. Tony Pearce is an imposing presence, but in his carnivalesque world-turned-upside-down, he perceives himself as small and invisible. As he attends to his work he mentally "cleans house," exploring childhood memories and his grief and guilt surrounding his younger brother Stephen's death at the hands of his violent and mean-spirited stepfather. Tony learns through the courage of his clients, and ultimately emerges with grace and humour as an emotionally daring and sexually adventurous man. Some chapters are introduced by a voice from the 1950s: housekeeping tips from Mrs. Neatson's Easy Steps to Domestic Bliss for the Busy Housewife. These tips, with their surreal tone of glamour and richness, run parallel with the real-life survival needs of the novel's characters: an elderly, crippled man living with his drug-dealing grandson; a demented drag queen about to get evicted from his apartment; a mother holding the hand of her dying son as she reflects on her youth and her lost lover.

Jim Nason

Jim Nason is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Music Garden (2013) and Narcissus Unfolding (2011) with Frontenac House Books. He is also the author of two novels, I Thought I Would Be Happy (2013, Tightrope Books), The Housekeeping Journals (2007, Turnstone Press), and a collection of short stories, The Girl on the Escalator (2011, Tightrope Books). Jim has been a finalist for the CBC Literary Prize in both poetry and fiction, and has been published in the The Best Canadian Poetry 2008 and 2010. He lives in Toronto.

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