All Day Breakfast

All Day Breakfast

By Ian McGillis

A review of All Day Breakfast by Valerie Joy Kalynchuk

Published on October 1, 2001

All Day Breakfast
Valerie Joy Kalynchuk

Conundrum Press
$10
paper
54pp
0-9685161

Creative teachers of creative writing might want to assign this little novel back-to-back with Emma Richler’s Sister Crazy as flipside views into the minds of troubled young females. Richler’s heroine grows up in the bosom of an affluent, eccentrically supportive family while Kalynchuk’s is from the wrong side of the tracks in Manitoba, which ought to make some kind of “money can’t buy happiness” point. Hannah’s upbringing and her young adulthood in Montreal comprise a veritable symphony of dysfunction, conveyed in first-person semi-stream-of-consciousness vignettes laced with black wit. (Check out the handy “Having a mental breakdown in Montreal” planning list.) Keeping up this kind of balancing act – scarifying content, playful prose – over the course of a full-length novel is a tall order, but here’s hoping Kalynchuk gives it a shot mRb

Ian McGillis writes about books and visual arts for the Montreal Gazette.

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