Submitted by megan on Wed, 02/18/2009 - 22:06
Harold Hoefle will be launching his first novel, The Mountain Clinic, published by Oberon Press.
Saturday, February 21st, 5 p.m.
The Manx Pub, 370 Elgin (@ Frank)
Harold and I met years ago now, just after my ex and I broke up. He seemed like a nice guy, and I thought he was vibing me, though I found out this summer that he hadn't been, and that I probably shouldn't have blogged about it, even if he had.
This past summer, out of the blue, he dropped me a line, he was going to be in town, did I want to go for a beer?
Why not, I thought. He'd seemed like a nice sort, and he writes good emails. If it's a bad time, I figured, it's likely to be a good story.
It wasn't a bad time at all. We got on like a house afire, as it turns out. I found him easy to talk to, easy to share really personal stuff with. He gave me one of my favourite compliments ever, though I've forgotten the exact words. Something about not having travelled much in terms of geography, but having spent my time instead quite thoroughly exploring the sometimes rocky terrain of relationships.
He was working on the book then, a draft just returned by our mutual friend Dave O'Meara.
This is what it's about:
The Mountain Clinic
Harold Hoefle has published both fiction and non-fiction in literary
journals all over the country. This new novel traces the life of Walter
Schwende, a Scarborough boy who seeks out his past in travel. He lives with
Czech refugees in a Vancouver rooming-house, then works in a northern
mining town, later settling on a Nicaraguan coffee farm. He ends up as a
college teacher in Montreal, where he tries to imagine what life in his
family’s native home of Austria might have been like. This becomes an
obsession that finally takes him back to Europe.
Harold Hoefle teaches at the University of Victoria. His work has been
published in a number of journals and anthologies, including The Antigonish
Review, Exile, Front&Centre, Grain, Kiss Machine, Matrix, The Windsor
Review and Telling Stories (New English Stories from Québec), as well as
in Spray Job, a four-story chapbook. Hoefle’s non-fiction received an
Honourable Mention at the 2006 National Magazine Awards. The Mountain
Clinic is his first book.
When he wrote me to tell me about the launch, I said I wouldn't miss it for anything. Turns out I was lying.
If I've had to put my cat down just a few hours before, that will probably make me miss it.
But you shouldn't.
Speaking of: not much news on the Freya front. She's home with me now while we wait for the radiologist's report. We spent most of the evening on the couch, her curled up and purring, me reaching for the keyboard over her body. She seems fine, so everything else seems very far away.