Anakana Schofield – Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

Malarky! Most Anticipated!

Thank you to Canadian Bookshelf who have selected my novel Malarky (due out in March) as one of the most anticipated titles of the season.

Reading Malarky and paragraphing

A couple of Fridays ago I was invited by Michael Turner to read with him (He read from No Apologies, Gilbert’s BC Monthly, Gerry Creede and a poem by Sharon Thesen in Writing magazine) at People’s Co-op Bookstore. The reading series (organized by Rolf Maurer) intends for writers to read from work other than their own, or from their unpublished work. It’s a fresh and enticing approach.

I indulged in some “paragraphing”, selecting mainly single paragraphs from different Vancouver novels and reading them beside each other, sometimes to amplify each other or to respond to one another.  I was interested in the oppositions of emotions or perspectives that results from such. It’s something I’d like to do much more. It’s also something I’ve done/collected by accident and, often, it’s humour that draws me to a specific paragraph.

I chose to read also from Episode 6 of Malarky, my forthcoming novel (April 2012). I deliberately chose one of the most fragmented parts of the book, a section that would not necessarily lend itself so well to a more standard literary reading because the paragraphs within it respond to each other. The episode contains my favourite line in the entire book: “See how I went back and forth?” Once you’ve read the book that line should explain itself.

In that context it has been useful to convene with Denis Donoghue’s literary reckoning since he studied music and literature and music and rhythm feature keenly in the first chapter of his book.

Rhythm became vital to Malarky as I edited it. I recall vividly being at Helen Potrebenko’s for dinner & Crokinole and leaving the room to sit in her study and work on editing my book and having to read it aloud and nearly beat it into the table with my hand. I could hear the crokinole pieces clatter into the board from the other room. I was slightly sad to miss the game, but it had to be done. God Bless Helen for all she did to help me realize this book.

Back to the starting point, the reading — it was one of my most favourite readings and one of my favourite women & writer’s Renee Rodin whispered in my ear that Malarky was “delicious” as I skedaddled off to collect my son.  Joy!


















Malarky, my novel, is now on Amazon sites (incl UK) for pre-order! I love the cover. She’s handsome.  Click on the image to add it to your bookshelves.

Late to the gate I may be, but I am on fire having caught up with the details of Theresa Treacy vs the ESB and eirGrid (however the hell you spell it).

I think Theresa should get the Nobel for standing up to these bullies. I am sick to the back teeth of women being bullied this way. (And believe me I have come up against bullies myself this year) To think she was languishing in a prison cell, while these madman duffers are barrelling across her land on Quads and pulping her trees to the ground.

Sweet effin’ Jesus.

On the upside, when I read about the courage and steadfast determination she displayed it reminds me there’s nothing like the determined Irish woman. I am delighted to be the offspring of one and the descendent of many more. My mother reported she’d her own words had with the ESB when they came onto her land and flattened all her grass. No better woman for the job!

It reminds me how much I miss such women in my daily life. I can hear the echos of them as I type and they make me smile. And you’ll be able to meet one in my forthcoming novel Malarky this spring.

Some wonderful questions today floating about at an Q & A session I did in French (!) with a group of 12 year olds about being a writer and my work. Two that particularly tickled me: Do you stay up all night writing and what energy drinks do you use?


I am very happy to have been invited to give the first public reading ever from my novel Malarky to the Irish Women’s Network of BC this Sunday. They are a mighty group of women!

Malarky will be published next Spring (2012) by Biblioasis.



Malarky, my episodic novel, has been shortlisted for the Metcalf-Rooke Award for fiction. I’m in the company of six other women writers. Press Release is here




Change one word.

Change one move.

Change all the people. At gymnastics my favourite coach has left to China and my other favourite coach has left to coach at a new club and the other gymnast who has helped me learn the rings has gone to medical school overseas. Disaster! My entire team of reliable males each Weds has disappeared to far points of the globe.

A new fella is helping me on the rings and he’s pretty radical. He did something tonight called a dislocation that I do not ever intend to do this side of 100. Plus he showed me some pretty violent swinging that was verging on crucifixion shaped and again I dunno if I’ll be hitting that tube stop anytime soon. I am quite jealous of his chin up move and am certainly going to pursue it. But how? The small matter of Posh Spice sized arms up against gravity and pretty ripped up hands need overthrowing.

Change one move.

Another coach tonight gave me a wonderful tip on my back handspring. I trained sooo long ago as a teenager, in the dinosaur era where they taught a sit and fall technique to the commence the move but that has now gone out with the bats. He said pike the legs and fall or just do it straight legged. Plus he said stick your chest up and back which is pretty easy to remember since it pokes out. What a difference. No more collapses. Well a couple. All my power from my legs was being lost by sitting too low, now instead it sends me back and longer. Yeah!!

All the way home I thought of how these tiny adjustments change so much, just as in prose a word in and out of a sentence can have this effect. I don’t have such a good editor’s eye. (Sound is v important to me though) I tend just to see thorns and blackberry bushes. I continue however to see the physical body and it’s movements as structure or I import from the physical body. Even now I can hear the snap of feet to the floor and thump of the arms and the final thump of the feet in a tumbling sequence. I hear a sentence in it. The last novel that I wrote the shape was formulated watching Judith Copithorne walk about delivering phrases at a poetry reading. She was not reading a poem like all the other poets were, she was offering words. Literally and physically.

It looks like maybe the first version of my novel Malarky might be published in the Irish language. How exciting.

Ni hea, Ding-a-ling.

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