Monday, May 09, 2011

Bring Forth a Wonder, by: George Bowering

I’m not sure where to start with George Bowering’s Bring Forth a Wonder. Maybe I won’t start with the story’s content. Bring Forth a Wonder is another of the stories from the collection, From Ink Lake, which I’ve mentioned a few times before. It features stories from the most well known Canadian authors, like Margaret Atwood, to others whose work is less recognized, like Alice French. Bowering is one of those I’ve never heard of before, but after doing some research, I’ve come to discover he is a prolific Canadian writer. His work is mostly in poetry, but he has also written ten novels, nine collections of short stories, four memoirs and lots more. Where have I been that I haven’t heard of him before? I thought I was doing pretty well on the Canadian literary front.

Am I going to read any of these works? I don’t know; who knows what the future will bring? If I do, it won’t be based on this short story. It was a bit odd for me. There was a lot going on for a ten page story. Maybe it was doing too much for its small space. The story starts out with a couple of Indian men (meaning First Nations) fishing. One is young and trying to prove himself a “man of the tribe”, the other is probably ten to fifteen years older. After their conversation, which I thought was interesting, the story shifts to the present day and it is actually the story of a writer, who is writing a novel about two Indians. He doesn’t like the way the story was going and changes it. This happens a few times in Bring Forth a Wonder. We also learn about why the author has left Canada to come to Italy to write about life in the Canadian past. Maybe it was a bit too much metafiction for me, or maybe not metafiction enough.

The story was definitely and interesting part of From Ink Lake. It didn’t put me off the author, it just didn’t attract me to him either.

Thanks to John Mutford at The Book Mine Set for hosting Short Story Monday.


  1. I have heard of Bowering, and until this post I thought I'd read something by him. But then I scoured my blog archives and found nothing. And while your less than glowing review might steer others away, you now have one up on me and I need to fix that ;)

  2. I haven't heard of Bowering before either. Though you weren't crazy about the story, your review made it sound good to me. I will have to check Bowering out, at the very least.

    I read a good, dark short.

  3. I get scared when I see the word metafiction...

  4. John, hahaha! I think From Ink Lake was one of my best purchases. I keep coming across good authors I would have never read otherwise.

    Teddy, The story isn't poorly written, I think it's mostly the jumping around that puts me off.

    JoAnn, METAFICTION!! Haha. It was the best word I could come up with that described what I thought Bowering was doing.