Muffins by Leon RookeMuffins by Leon Rooke


byLeon Rooke


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`Muffins is a square; it has a vinyl cover of a photograph of Rooke and his wife and another woman (their daughter?). The photograph-cover, if one ``reads' it closely, shows the daughter reading a book; her back is facing her parents who are at a table eating -- or about to eat -- muffins. There is a book case stuffed with books ``arranged' in a messy way. The photograph has in the middle a rectangle in white lines and the words in different typefaces (and colours): Muffins and Leon Rooke under Muffins. The effect is startling because I see photographs of books within the book itself. And I am thus aware that there is a carefully designed book-within-the-book. And I start thinking about the relation of the various elements I have mentioned. Is the cover the beginning of the book? Does it, on the contrary, tell a secret story? I see, finally, that I as reader or viewer must interpret the relations, must join -- or create -- the performance of interpretation. In a sense, then, I am writing a review of the photograph of the author. And I have not yet opened Muffins! My consciousness is whirling!'

An energetic and prolific storyteller, Leon Rooke's 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...
Title:MuffinsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:24 pages, 7.48 × 7.2 × 0.15 inPublisher:Porcupine's Quill

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0889841675

ISBN - 13:9780889841673

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From the Author

Books in Canada coverBooks in Canada: Earlier you mentioned Isabel Allende's magical stories. The girl in ``Muffins'' with her lizard necklace -- she's a creature from fable, isn't she, ``fabulous'' like so many of your characters?Rooke: I believe there's something in the human spirit that hungers for that kind of presence in one's life. And our own experiences from day to day contain that element to a degree that would astonish us. And it's very useful, we need that kind of magic, we need to believe in the spiritual element, because without it how do you live with the atrocities, people all over the globe doing hideous things to each other. It's the sense of revitalization one feels every spring -- I mean the difference between these trees now and a month ago -- it was just stark, ugly, and bare. And now it's opulent, verdancy totally embracing all over the place. I equate that magical presence of the extraordinary with what happens in nature. Just the other day I was standing in this room, and I thought, when I turn around I'm going to see a fish in that river -- I knew it -- and I did and there was a big pike -- about this long -- swimming right out on the water. Had I thought longer about it, I might have thought, what is it going to mean? [laughter It's that connection that happens with amazing, amazing frequency.Books in Canada: The conjunction of the magical and the quotidian.Rooke: Yes. And it seems to me that it happens a great deal more often to those people who invite it -- who issue the invitation that life does hold those riches if one will only welcome them.Books in Canada: And that's what your fiction is about?Rooke: Yes.

Editorial Reviews

`Rooke's recording, cut in a Toronto bar, has all the boozy effervescence of a one-man tour band. In an age when some writers attempt to take themselves seriously as performance artists, Rooke reponds by sending out a bootleg recording of one of his own beer-hall jam sessions.'