Books

Dunlevy’s e-book Letters from Montreal tells tales concerning the metropolis we love

A group of essays printed by Véhicule Press – from a preferred column in Maisonneuve journal – strikes chord by chord.

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There are 8 million tales within the Bare Metropolis, and 50 in Letters from Montreal: Tales of a Distinctive Metropolis.

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The whimsical, typically profound and really enjoyable new e-book, printed this week by the Véhicule Press, is a set of essays from a preferred column that has been on the duvet of Maisonneuve for over a decade.

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“He has all the time been a readers’ favourite,” Maisonneuve’s editor-in-chief Madi Haslam stated Wednesday. “Individuals typically flip to the again web page and skim it first – particularly Montrealers.”

It is simple to see why. Concise, snappy and steeped within the spirit of journey, tales learn like postcards from totally different corners of this unusual, intoxicating place we dwell.

“The column is brief and enjoyable,” Haslam stated. “That is to seize what it means to dwell in that metropolis or in a sure a part of town at a sure cut-off date. They are surely love letters to Montreal, with out romanticizing it or ignoring the challenges of dwelling right here – be it Invoice 21 politics or one thing extra private like another person’s messy relationship life.

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“It’s meant to provide an intimate perception into the lives of Montreal’s predominantly English-speaking residents, celebrating their distinctive experiences right here. It may be absurd at occasions, however they’ve a way of surprise that unites them. “

Haslam units the tone within the introduction, with a wierd picture that any Montrealer can respect: “Once I first moved to Montreal, I watched the sundown within the north. I knew it simply wasn’t occurring. But there it dipped under the horizon like a shrunken Orange Julep.

From there, we observe Melissa Bull drifting between the unions on a sticky day at Parc La Fontaine; Crystal Chan performs macabre video games along with her French classmates; Bernard Rudny takes us on a historic tour of Montreal’s avenue names; Jessica Wei traces her household’s deep roots in Chinatown; Deborah Ostrovsky admires the equilibrium of the youngsters of French immigrants; Kyle Carney skates throughout city as a ceremony of passage; newcomer Eva Crocker is bored in Westmount after which finds “freaky Montreal” by way of Parc Ex’s faux orgasmic refrain; Selena Ross recollects an uncommon job interview on the Simcha grocery retailer on St-Laurent Blvd.

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At daybreak, drinks flirt on the roofs, family members die, befriend cats, and destroy bicycles.

“I feel dwelling in Montreal every day could be a surreal expertise,” Haslam stated. “There’s a shock in each metropolis round each nook, however I really feel that that is very true of Montreal.”

Many anecdotes are youthful – maybe reflecting the demographics of the Maisonneuve writing staff. Win Butler of Arcade Hearth (the topic of current allegations of sexual misconduct) has been talked about greater than as soon as, together with in Sean Michaels’ tart movie The Battle of the Bands from 2012.

“It’s unlucky that the allegations got here in two weeks after we went to press,” Haslam stated. “We’d have handled these tales in another way or talked about the best way to cope with them if the allegations had arisen sooner.”

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Whereas a lot of the story has been taken from the journal up to now 10 years, there are additionally a handful of commissioned essays, together with novelist Heather O’Neill recalling the subversive appeal of long-defunct NDG groundbreaking cinema in her youth.

“There are components of Montreal that everybody is aware of and associates with town,” Haslam stated, “from the highest to St-Viateur and Tams, and loads of cultural references to the pricey and pricey individuals who dwell right here, for instance the thin. partitions divide neighbors, bumps and constructions, or Anglo gestures after they attempt to talk with francophones whereas studying French ”.

The result’s web page flips that strike chord by chord. Even when the tales do not instantly replicate private experiences, they mix to create a heat, acquainted hum that appears like residence.

tdunlevy@postmedia.com
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