The One with the News

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The Porcupine's Quill, 2000 - Fiction - 139 pages

`As a disease that is ``made of tangles'' Alzheimer's is the perfect metaphor for the social intricacies that are the subject of The One With the News. While the dementia floor of the Health Centre is not precisely the arena in which one would choose to extend one's social reach, it is as revealing a microcosm as any literary Ship of Fools. Likewise, the loss of memory that is the most prominent symptom of Alzheimer's makes an effective device for tracing the connections between the lives that intersect in this work. As Ambrose forgets -- not merely that tea cannot made in the toaster oven, but who he is and what he believes -- his wife and daughters are compelled painfully to remember. The very absence, in one mind, of those attachments that create families and communities and classes underlines their collective importance. Finally, the hereditary character of the disease emphasizes that the network is not only spatial but chronological. So concerned is Ambrose's daughter Alice to arrest the unspooling of the disease down the generations that she undergoes voluntary sterilization.

`At the same time, while Alzheimer's is certainly a compelling symbol for Sabatini, it is also a material reality. The slow death of the partnership of Iris Murdoch and John Bayley is invoked in the final story in counterpoint to the decline of Ambrose's marriage to Peggy. Almost as painful a reminder of the destructive effects of the disease, and perhaps the most brilliant and understated example of perspective in this book, is ``Collecting,'' the story of Stephen, the McLean's paper-boy, who is brutally rebuffed, without explanation, by the man who had once been his favourite customer.'

 

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User Review  - KarenAJeff - LibraryThing

Sandra Sabatini is a gifted new writer whose work explores the nature of faith, loss, hope, and the grace we all need to remain upright. The One with the News looks at the ravaging effects of ... Read full review

Contents

Clean Hands
9
The Light That Fell Behind
25
Ambrose Dreams
35
The Cemeteries Act
67
Gifts from the WellIntentioned
127
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Sandra Sabatini's first collection of short stories, The One with the News (Porcupine's Quill, 2000), was shortlisted for the McClelland Stewart Writers Trust Journey and or the Upper Canada Writers' Craft Award. Sabatini's second book, Making Babies: Infants in Canadian Fiction (2004), explored how Canadian novelists wrote about babies over the course of the 20th century and how infants become more predominant, developing their own literary identity. Her second collection of sh

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