Scotiabank shortlisted author showing up in Uxbridge
by Shelagh Fitz
Next Tuesday, Oct. 23, Uxbridge will welcome another literary superstar to town. Patrick deWitt will be at Wooden Sticks Golf Club to celebrate his latest novel, French Exit. The book has been shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, Canada’s most lucrative literary prize. This year’s winner will be announced on November 19, 2018
The Literary of Review of Canada says deWitt “is a masterful storyteller who propels narrative with witty, weird vignettes and digressions.” He is back after his success with The Sisters Brothers, but this time with a female protagonist. In French Exit, Frances Price is a “tart widow, possessive mother, and Upper East Side force of nature.” She faces both bankruptcy and a scandal surrounded by a cast of characters only deWitt could envisage; particularly memorable is Small Frank, Frances’ cat whom she believes embodies the unpleasant spirit of her deceased husband.
The Jury Citation for the Scotiabank Giller Prize says French Exit is “a ‘tragedy of manners’ about people out of sync in the world, [it] is disconcertingly funny. It strikes postures where a more conventional writer would have been sincere and humourless. Its subjects are effrontery, wealth, death, and bad manners. French Exit shows Patrick deWitt’s literary mastery and perfect ear.”
In previous visits to Uxbridge, deWitt has enthralled audiences with his quirky sense of humour and darkly undertoned view of the world. He delights, both in person and on the page, those who take the time to engage with him.
Local English teacher turned author, CanLit advocate and craft beer enthusiast Daryl Sneath, will interview deWitt on Tuesday evening. Tickets are $25 (plus tax) and are available at Blue Heron Books, 62 Brock St. W. Uxbridge, 905-852-4282.