Populated by media personalities, literary characters, three-legged deer-like creatures and an array of idiosyncratic Toronto neighbours, The House on Major Street is an internal and external picaresque tale that begins with a dramatic bicycle accident and explores, along the way, the blurred boundaries between the stories we read, the stories we tell and the stories we live.
Leon Rooke is an energetic and prolific storyteller whose writing is characterized by inventive language, experimental form and an extreme range of characters with distinctive voices. He has written a number of plays for radio and stage and produced numerous collections of short stories. It is his novels, however, that have received the most critical acclaim. Fat Woman (1980) was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award and won the Paperback Novel of the Year Award. Shakespeare's Dog won the Governor General's Award in 1983 and toured as a play as far afield as Barcelona and Edinburgh. A Good Baby was made into a feature film. Rooke founded the Eden Mills Writers' Festival in 1989. In 2007, Rooke was made a member of the Order of Canada. Other awards include the Canada/Australia prize, the W. O. Mitchell Award, the North Carolina Award for Literature and two ReLits (for short fiction and poetry). In 2012, he was the winner of the Gloria Vanderbilt Carter V. Cooper Fiction Award. He lives in Toronto.
[On appearing as a character in The House on Major Street:]
`Leon flatters me and of course I'm delighted to be so used by a writer I respect so much. Steve Temple will feel the same I'm sure. Richard Landon, sadly gone now, would be equally flattered by Leon's very accurate picture of his rapacity-except he would sneer at Leon and goad him by saying the Fisher ``already has three copies of it''.
`I shall inquire of Leon, next time I see him, just what he means by ``dishevelled'' in reference to myself. He only sees me in places where drinking occurs, not in my professional guise where like all greedy dealers I'm always slick and charming. Looks like it's to be a must-read book.- David Mason, proprietor, David Mason Books
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