I love a good book launch, and have a special place in my heart for fiction writers. As a lover of both books and writing, I - myself - am sadly completely incapable of writing fiction. I simply have no stories in me. Therefore, I am completely in awe of those who can, and who can do so well. Corinna Chong is one of these people.
Her new (and first!) book is called Belinda's Rings and is a beautifully written book filled with quirky, imaginatively written prose about family relationships - mixed in with deep sea creatures, crop circles and UFO's. At 85 pages in, I am thoroughly enjoying it. How can you not like a book where one of the main characters is called 'Squid'?
Corina is originally from Calgary, but lives in Kelowna and teaches at Okanagan College, which appears to be emerging as a hotbed of creative talent, who were out in force to celebrate their colleague's (significant!) achievement. Well done, also, Mosaic Books for organising the event. Seeing local talent celebrated and supported is a wonderful thing, and Corinna thoroughly deserves it.
It's wonderful to have discovered a literary community in Kelowna, and if the crowd at the reading at The Bohemian Cafe is anything to go by, its a good one. The crowd was warm, supportive with lots of intelligent questions for the author post reading, and filled with writers and poets and other creative and talented people, which bodes well.
Rumour has it there's also an active poetry community in town as well - hurrah. I'll keep you posted.
"Belinda's Rings is about childhood and adolescence and sisters and mother's and piano lessons, but it's also about UFOs and mysterious squids and stunningly beautiful crop circles near Stonehenge. The writing has a mesmerising grace and an Atwoodian fascination with science and swirling fractals and deep sea divers and puzzling family bonds. Belinda's Rings is a vital,vibrant gem."
Mark Anthony Jarman, author of 19 Knives and My White Planet
Belinda's Rings by Corinna Chong, $19.95, is published by NeWest Press (www.newestpress.com) and is available at Mosaic Books, 411 Bernard Ave, Kelowna (www.mosaicbooks.ca).