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CanLit150

Celebrate more than 150 years of Canada with 150 books.

Craig Francis Power Recommends

House of Sudden Service by Elizabeth Bachinsky

House of Sudden Service (2006)

(From Amazon.ca)

Set in Anyvalley, North America, Home of Sudden Service centres around the experiences of young people growing up in the suburbs. The contrast of elegant poetic forms with the colloquial, often harsh language of suburban teens makes for a compelling and engaging achievement.

Bachinsky creates a gothic landscape that will be familiar to anyone who's visited the suburbs. Here, young Brownies dance, learn to sew and get badges in a series of eerie rituals, and smalltown girls settle down early. Murder, lust, teen pregnancy and a young man's disappearance are all discussed with a matter-of-fact, dispassionate voice.

But this world is not without humour and hope. Home of Sudden Service concludes with "Drive," a series of fifteen sonnets about the poet's trip across Canada with her sister, and out of the setting of their youth.

Elizabeth Bachinsky

(From Harbour Publishing)

Elizabeth Bachinsky is the author of five collections of poetry: Curio,  Home of Sudden ServiceGod of Missed ConnectionsI Don't Feel So Good , and, most recently, The Hottest Summer in Recorded History. Her poetry has been adapted for stage and screen and has been nominated for awards including the Pat Lowther Award, The George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature, and the Governor General's Award for Poetry. She lives in New Westminster, BC.