Friday, February 29, 2008

Canada Reads 2008, Entry Five

Spadina Streetcar, coffee cup leaning lazily on her thigh.

Black woman, mid 20s, hair pulled back into a curly ponytail, tired eyes masked by wide-rimmed glasses, wearing short grey jacket and tight blue jeans, cuffs tucked into lined winter boots.

From the Fifteenth District, Mavis Gallant (McClelland & Stewart)

Page 117:

Mr. Cranefield explained, kindly, that up at Rivabella they had made a patron saint out of a mixture of St. Damian, who was an intellectual, and St. Michael, who was not, and probably a local pagan deity as well. St. Michael accounted for the sword, the pagan for the fire. Reliable witnesses had seen the result, though none of these witnesses were British. "We aren't awfully good at seeing saints," he said. "Though we do have an eye for ghosts."

She stands at the photocopier, finger hovering, matching size and type, her head cocked toward the company kitchenette. Friendly banter turns to heated debate. Everyone likes to back a winner. She's read them all and has her opinions. Perhaps she'll share them. For now, she shuts her eyes hard, stretches her face, her glasses falling offside her tiny nose, and contemplates another cup of coffee. Size and type, she concentrates. Size and type.

Canada Reads 2008

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