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CanLit150

Celebrate more than 150 years of Canada with 150 books.

Guy Vanderhaeghe Recommends

God's Bedfellows by David Carpenter

God's Bedfellows (1988)

(From David Carpenter's website)

"Before my mother met my father, she believed in salvation through Jesus Christ and he believed in oblivion through Johnnie Walker. She agreed to lay off the church if he agreed to lay off the bottle and they got married in 1944. I was the fruit of their brief armistice."

This collection of stories is about a variety of people who, for good or ill, find themselves in bed. As the tales unfold, each one of these characters meets another person who is his or her opposite; thus a series of life altering discoveries is set in motion.

David Carpenter

(From David Carpenter's website)

David Carpenter was conceived in Saskatoon and born in Edmonton, where he grew up on Saskatchewan stories.

He moved to Saskatoon in 1975 and began writing the following year.

He spent 4 years working on a novel entitled The Loving of Michael Goggins, a modern version of A Midsummer Night's Dream. His main characters were a Titania-like young woman, a pudgy Bottom-like man, and an homme fatal disc jockey. It was a story of ill-fated love, despair, romantic disenchantment and all those youthful, fun emotions. He finished the novel in 1980 and it was rejected in 18 days, a Canadian indoor record.

That same year he finished his first short story and sent it to Saturday Night. They phoned him one evening when he was in his kitchen standing beneath a high beam. He had often tried to jump high enough to touch this beam, but he could never quite reach it. The editor told him that Saturday Night would like to "buy" his story. He had never heard that sentence uttered before. The editor asked him if $2,000 would be all right, and he told the man yes, that would be all right. Carpenter gave this reply in a tone suggesting that this sort of thing happened with boring regularity. When the phone call ended, he leapt up into the air and slapped the beam above him and returned, very slowly, to earth.

His novel Niceman Cometh was his 10th book, a story about a Titania-like single mom, a pudgy Bottom-like dreamer, and a flesh-foolish disc jockey in the Saskatoon of the 1990s. He launched a new book of fiction in the fall of 2009, a collection of novellas entitled Welcome to Canada.

Carpenter is currently at work on Volume One of The Literary History of Saskatchewan. He also just finished working on a nonfiction book, A Hunter's Confession, about the rise and fall of hunting as a pastime in North America.

Carpenter’s writing credo is as follows (and it may not apply to poets): Most writers must learn to make a pact with dullness. Not boredom, or lack of imagination or passion, but dullness of routine. Keep your daily appointment with the computer screen and keep your ass on the chair until you’ve reached your daily quota. However rich your inner life may be, seek also the dullard within.