About thirty pages into her memoir, All Things Consoled, Elizabeth Hay is recalling a fight with her mother; it’s a recognizably wide-ranging fight (on and off over several hours) at a classic battleground (the family cottage), somehow embracing (but not directly or exclusively) rotting peaches, wasted chicken juices, teasing versus taunting, greasy sausages, getting along so well, slimy porridge and the “calamity of awful textures” known as tapioca, and “we’re just so proud” of you…You know the one.
Hay (about forty at the time) is mortified by her mother’s unbridled sobbing; she apologizes and mops her mother’s face with a T-shirt, but here’s what she’s thinking: “What about the book I wrote that you buried? What about the letter you wrote saying you wouldn’t let Dad read it? How could you be so repelled…that you deep-sixed the damn thing, yet still tell me you’re ‘nothing but proud’? ”
In a scene early in Mark...
To read this article, you must buy the issue or have LRC Web Full-Text Access.
If you already have Web Full-Text Access to Literary Review of Canada content, please log in with one of the two options below.
If not, sign up today!
- Not already an LRC subscriber? Subscribe today, and be sure to select either the “DIGITAL” or “PRINT and DIGITAL” option. You’ll then be entitled to read this — and other magazine content from past and current issues — in full! (Note: Web Full-Text Access will take effect the following business day.)
- Already a subscriber to the LRC‘s Print edition, but haven’t yet signed up for Web Full-Text Access? Contact us and we’ll reply right away with instructions on how to upgrade your existing subscription.
Log In Option 1
Log In Option 2
* Subscribers who have chosen to receive both the LRC‘s print and digital editions can find their subscriber number in the address area of any recent printed copy cover, above their name; it is six digits long, immediately following “LRC.”