The Beggar's Garden by Michael Christie

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The Beggar’s Garden takes the pulse of history by unsentimentally dramatizing the way a certain segment of society lives now, and in so doing stands as a sympathetic and compassionate examination of modern urban loneliness and disaffection.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

Longlisted for the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize

Brilliantly sure-footed, strikingly original, tender and funny, this collection of nine linked stories follows a diverse group of curiously interrelated characters—from bank manager to crackhead to retired Samaritan to web designer to car thief--as they drift through each others’ lives in Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside.

These engrossing stories, gleefully free of moral judgment, are about people who are searching in the jagged margins of life -- for homes, drugs, love, forgiveness.  Ranging from the tragically funny opening story “Emergency Contact” to the audacious, crack-fuelled rush of “Goodbye Porkpie Hat” to the deranged and thrilling extreme of “King Me,” The Beggar’s Garden is a powerful and affecting debut, written with an exceptional eye and ear and heart.

 

About Michael Christie

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MICHAEL CHRISTIE received his MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia. Prior to this, he worked in a homeless shelter on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and provided outreach to the severely mentally ill. A former professional skateboarder, he is a senior writer for Color Magazine , an award-winning publication that celebrates skateboarding culture. Michael Christie lives in Thunder Bay, and is working on his next book, a novel.
 
Published January 25, 2011 by HarperCollins Publishers. 272 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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National Post arts

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Reviewed by Steven W. Beattie on Jan 21 2011

The Beggar’s Garden takes the pulse of history by unsentimentally dramatizing the way a certain segment of society lives now, and in so doing stands as a sympathetic and compassionate examination of modern urban loneliness and disaffection.

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