Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

THE WALLFLOWER CONFESSIONS

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10. What Do I Know, I’m just the Writer.

Slowly readers’ comments have started to trickle in, and I have to say that I am surprised about the varied points of view. Some people are really, really mad. How could I do that? How could I do what I did to Wanda? And when is the sequel coming out?

Sequel? I had done with these guys. I had “moved on”, as they say in the world of romance. These characters were a part of my past.

Readers have varied opinions on what the story is ‘about.’ My mom phoned me to tell me that she never had to leave home at 16, but she wanted to since all her friends were going away (Okay, she actually phoned to go up one side of me and down the other about the “F and C words.”) . A reviewer was overwhelmed by the sadness. A friend who is gay referred to it as “Brokeback for Girls.” (I’ll take any references to E. Annie Proulx that anyone wants to throw my way.) Another friend, whom I grew up with, was incensed that I had, in his words, “moved the Nut Garden.”

Leaving home, fighting loneliness, wrestling with sexual orientation and nostalgia -- everyone has his or her own take on a work of fiction. No one is particularly interested in what I think I meant it to be about, which is good, I think. It doesn’t matter what I wrote. What matters is what people read.

A few nights ago, a bunch of my readers (God, I do love the sound of that) were thrown out of a house in Leslieville for discussing my book. Apparently the homeowner had not read it and forbad discussion of it, in a very Pope-like fashion. The finished readers took their thoughts outside (I think some of them also smoked).

I love the idea of No Beautiful Shore being the subject of banned discussions. Now I feel like a subversive wallflower.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Beverley Stone

Beverley Stone grew up in outport Newfoundland before moving to Toronto to attend Osgoode Hall Law School. Her first novel, No Beautiful Shore, is published by Cormorant Books (2008).

Go to Beverley Stone’s Author Page