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December 06, 2004

Brian Francis' Holiday Gift Suggestion

by Ron Hogan

brianfrancis.jpgMacAdam/Cage week continues with a tried but true recommendation from Brian Francis, a Toronto writer whose first novel, Fruit, got its own gift this year when Barnes & Noble picked it for the Discover Great New Writers holiday list. The indies over at Booksense also found the story overweight teen who thinks his nipples are talking to him worth recommending, and it was nominated for Lambda awards as a work of gay men's fiction and specifically as a work of debut fiction. You can read an early version of some of the material that appeared in The Church-Wellesley Review back in '98.

Let's face it--the holiday season can be a stressful time for most of us. I mean, with all that turkey to digest and those proclamations of "Is it really for me? I mean, really. You bought this for me?" circulating around the holiday tree, itís hard not to feel a bit stressed out. Thatís why Iím recommending Barrel Fever by David Sedaris. Sedaris is one of the funniest writers around and his first collection of stories and essays carries a maniacal energy. For those in the mood for Holiday-related reading, there are a couple of pieces that should satisfy cravings: the darkly comical "Seasonís Greetings to our Friends and Family!!" and the famous NPR piece, "Santaland Diaries." As a writer, Sedarisí comic timing is impeccable. Youíll find yourself laughing out loud one minute only to turn the page to have him yank your heartstrings the next. And if that doesnít sum up the holiday experience, I donít know what does.
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