Winner of 2017 Giller Prize

Winner of 2017 Giller Prize
Michael Redhill for his novel Bellevue Square

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Rust is a Form of Fire


Thunder Bay native son, Joe Fiorito has written a wonder book, strange, insightful, eloquent - a complete blast.  Joe spent 18 hours over the course of three days on a downtown corner in Toronto watching, just watching.

A columnist for the Toronto Star, Joe knows the hidden city, the city within the city. Here, as the Watcher, he celebrates what most seldom notice, recording it, using a few words, a phrase, a sharp sentence, a bit of overheard dialogue,  and ends up with a complex and human portrait. He picked a corner where people stop, where the street cars pick up and drop off passengers, where small things happen.

In the introduction, Joe mentions occasionally being approached by a stranger and they talked. "Why? Because we are, all of us, human. Because we are never better, more whole, than when we are in each others' company."

A strange thing happened to this reader while reading. A parallel narrative ran in my head as many of the incidents and non-events Joe observed brought to mind similar observations of my own in different places and times. Many of his sentences lit a little sparkler, illuminating something from my past.

Joe says, "if you need to give what I have done a name, you may call it poetry, or you may call it this.
Non-narrative, non-fiction.


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