Thursday, December 5, 2013

rapunzel reads in pointe st-charles

Here's the link to a video of me reading from my novel Arrhythmia. As well, you can see some highlights of life in Pointe St-Charles... other people who live here, the rail line that separates the Pointe from the prettier neighbourhoods of Montreal, the underpass--that belongs to the rail line--where my voice echoes.

(Note: if the above link doesn't work, this one does: )

Many Montrealers don't even know that there's a residential district below downtown, the Ville-Marie highway, the rail line. You have to cross the Lachine Canal, find a detour under, over or around the rail line, pass the derelict factories and keep going. Here are the row houses where the labourers who dug the Lachine Canal lived--the industrial history from which Montreal sprang and which helped open the country. From the Atlantic, up the St. Lawrence River, along the Lachine Canal, to the rail lines, to the Great Lakes and beyond.

When I'm not in the underpass reading, I'm standing against my favourite wall of graffiti. It's the long north wall of the arena, where kids play hockey and go swimming, and where adults vote when there's a referendum which--you never know--can always happen in Quebec. About a week before my rendezvous with Elise Moser and Leila Marshy, someone had painted a long washing line with many pairs of mismatched socks and pretty underwear hung against a clear sky. I hoped no one would paint the Hulk or a locomotive or amorous messages over the laundry before my shoot. Maybe we were helped by the rain--because a couple of days later the underwear got covered, bit by bit, by other statements. It's the fate of all graffiti.

Elise Moser and Leila Marshy have organized a series of videos of Montreal writers reading in their neighbourhoods. There are a few us in the Pointe, so I feel especially lucky to have been chosen. Perhaps the project will continue? There are so many writers in Montreal. The other videos can be found on the Montreal online arts and cultural magazine, The Rover.


  1. Oh, this is wonderful... I love everything about it, not the least that twirling brolly! And that passage is one of my favourites. Also your scarf is a perfect complement to those [sadly] now but-a-memory undies. This part of the city appeals to me. Row houses?? Je t'adore row houses. And factories. Rare neighbourhoods that remain true to their roots. Gorgeous.

    1. Thank you, Carin. Next time you come to Montreal, we will figure out a way to get you to the Pointe.