Saturday, February 04, 2006


I'm trying hard to believe that Leah McLaren is not Toronto's latest literary darling, but try as I might, the evidence is pointing to the contrary. No less than three separate occasions forced me to come face to face with some aspect of Leah today. First, her predictably egomaniacal column in the Style section of the Globe, in which today she solicits her first novel with a sufficiently ennui-ridden excerpt. Later, my literary sensibilities are affronted while making my way into Book City in the Annex, the reason for which is an entire display window devoted to the above mentioned book. I stop dead in my tracks, despite prolonged and uncomfortable exposure to the inclement weather. A part of me wants to smash that window and destroy that display for no good reason, aside from, 'It was not supposed to be this way!'. Okay, so I get past my initial furor of shock and disdain, make my way into the shop, and re-emerge some time later, glad to have discovered and claimed this, this, and this, but also glad to have completely avoided any further evidence of Leah. Except, when I am about to descend onto the rain-swept windscape of Bloor Street, trying to get my affairs in order before embarking on an expedited journey to the subway, who do I see on the cover of Frank magazine but she once more. The only saving grace is that she is undoubtedly being ridiculed in the latter.

I have not quite figured out why the whole matter enrages me so, whether it is some sick form of jealousy, or else just displeasure at the prospect of one more mediocre book to sift through while searching out the real gems on the remainder table in approximately six months time.

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