Steven Beattie, the reviews editor of Q & Q who chose the five, makes such great comments on Red Girl that I’ll just quote directly:
“Cynthia Flood’s fourth collection is a marvel of style and technique; it also features a vast range of subjects and approaches to augment its formal virtuosity. From the petty bickering of West Coast radicals in “Dirty Work” to the rebellious denizens of an old-folks’ home in “Care” to the clouded leopard marauding through the backstreets of Vancouver in “The Hunter,” Flood crafts characters and situations that are at once iconoclastic and vividly alive. Her concentrated and elliptical writing strips away anything extraneous, resulting in brief, sharp tales that are as densely packed as poetry, yet as subtly constructed as an impressionist painting.
Don’t let its small size fool you: Red Girl Rat Boy is an impressively imposing collection.”
Woo hoo! My thanks to Beattie — who already wrote a great review of Red Girl in the National Post (see my Reviews page) — and my congratulations to the writers of the four other Books of the Year. They are Louis Hamelin for October 1970, tr Wayne Grady (Anansi); Chris Eaton for Chris Eaton, A Biography (Book Thug); S. D. Chrostowska for Permission (Dalkey Archive); and Valeria Mason-John and Kevan Anthony Cameron, eds., The GreatBlack North: Contemporary African-Canadian Poetry (Frontenac House Poetry).