Frogs & Other Stories

by Diane Schoemperlen | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0919627382 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingPooker3wing of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on 4/26/2008
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5 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingPooker3wing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Saturday, April 26, 2008
Couldn't resist another Schoemperlen book, this one of short stories, purchased from the Children's Hospital Book Market.

Journal Entry 2 by wingPooker3wing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Thursday, October 16, 2008
I admit to a soft spot for Diane Schoemperlen for the sole reason that she was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Well, given that she was born in 1954 (the same year as me), she would have been born in Port Arthur or Fort William, Thunder Bay not having been created yet. I wasn't born there but I did live there for a number of years and it is one of my favourite places in Canada. The only other "famous" person that I remember hailing from there is Alex Delvecchio.

I don't remember what it was that I read first of Schoemperlen's works, but I do know that whatever it was prompted me to be on the lookout for more. I also have the sense, as I do with other Canadian female authors of a certain age (Atwood, Munro, Laurence), that as they and their writing has matured, so have I. I can relate to their protagonists because I can see myself in their shoes - they are ordinary everyday people looking at the world in the same way I do and interested in the things I am interested in, although often in predicaments I am thankful to have avoided.

So it was interesting to come upon this book published more than twenty years ago. A blast from the past if you will. It is possible I read this book before (some of the stories had the faintest twinge of familiarity) but it was the quirky little details that spoke to me of a past decade that I found both interesting and amusing - both a personal decade (me at thirty and I read Schoemperlen's protagonists to be in their early thirties)and the 80's in general (a lounge singer in "First Things First" wears blue velvet pants and embroidered shirts, the sheets on the bed in "The Long Way Home" are brown with orange flowers and green leaves - I think I had those sheets!). And it's not just that these things are mentioned, it's that the characters point them out, admire them, as if for posterity. So, I can't help wondering, was that deliberate on the part of the author? Did she point these things out for posterity? Or, are these things just flotsam and jetsam that naturally date all pieces of writing. Would I even have noticed these things, had I read the book in the '80's? I realize that I don't even question the fact that books by, say, Dickens or Jane Austen reflect the times in which they were written. But of course I wasn't born when these books were written. Ackk! Is it just that I am getting so old that I am intrigued by "the good old days"? But frankly, I thought the eighties were a rather pathetic decade, as decades go, even as I was living them.

Schoemperlen writes with discipline. Short terse sentences convey a certain..."angst", I suppose would be a good word, and while all the stories sound as if from the same voice, they are all different. It's if the author was experimenting with form, writing for the approval of someone. Who? Herself? The reader? Other short story writers? Regardless, I enjoyed them. They took me back in time - to the eighties, to my thirties. And I enjoyed the author's experimentation, if that's what it was. It was fun to notice that and compare it with her more recent works. While I always recognize the voice of Alice Munro (who I understand was something of a mentor to Schoemperlen) no matter what and when I read her, I don't think I would have recognized that the author who wrote this set of stories also wrote, say, *Our Lady of the Lost and Found*.

This is my tenth book by a Canadian woman and sixteenth book overall for the 2nd Canadian Book Challenge, Eh?

Now I wonder where I should release a book with "Frogs" in the title - maybe a swamp near you? The cover is pretty cute. It's bright green with a black ink drawing of a couple vaudevillians (frogvillians?) stepping out in song and waving top hats. In fact, each story title is also accompanied by a frog drawing. Fun!

Journal Entry 3 by wingPooker3wing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Saturday, January 03, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (1/3/2009 UTC) at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

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Hopping off to Michigan in the "You're in Canada Now" prize box. I hope you enjoy this one KarmelK.

Journal Entry 4 by KarmelK from Jerome, Michigan USA on Tuesday, January 20, 2009
What an interesting looking book. I'm almost a frog-o-phile as we have an albino pigmy frog, and own a cast iron frog that I've been told is a collectable. It says 'I croak for the Jackson Wagon' Different stories have been told about these frogs. My father-in-law said this one was given to his great uncle by Stonewall Jackson's campaign. But other's say that's not possible. Either way I'm loving my frogs and looking forward to the stories. Thanks for putting it in the "You're in Canada Now" prize box. KK

Journal Entry 5 by wingMaranlinwing at Burlington, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I received this book today from KarmelK along with some other goodies after participating in her You've Got An Angel Challenge. Thank you, Karmel! I haven't heard of this author, but look forward to reading these stories.

Journal Entry 6 by wingMaranlinwing at Burlington, Ontario Canada on Saturday, March 10, 2012
I enjoyed these short stories. Good bedtime reading!

Journal Entry 7 by wingMaranlinwing at Burlington, Ontario Canada on Monday, August 20, 2012

Released 7 yrs ago (8/20/2012 UTC) at Burlington, Ontario Canada

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Sent off to JennyC1230 as her choice from bookstogive's general literature VBB. Enjoy!



Journal Entry 8 by JennyC1230 at Woodstock, Georgia USA on Saturday, August 25, 2012
Received from Bookstogive's General Literature VBB. Thanks for sending it! It sounds like an interesting read.

Journal Entry 9 by JennyC1230 at Woodstock, Georgia USA on Sunday, September 23, 2012
I read a few of these stories, they were good. I'm going to share this book with another bookcrosser, I hope she likes it!

Released 6 yrs ago (12/13/2012 UTC) at ~~~ ♥ ~~~ A Friend ~~~ ♥ ~~~, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA

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If you have found this book, welcome to Bookcrossing and thank you for taking the time to let us know about its journey. Feel free to enjoy the book and pass it along to a friend, neighbor, family member or co-worker, or simply leave it somewhere for another lucky reader to enjoy as you did! This book isn’t your type of read? No problem, don't feel obliged to read it, just be kind enough to help it on its journey.

Sending to Froggie66, I hope you like it!
Happy Holidays!
Merry Christmas!

Journal Entry 11 by froggie66 at Ottawa, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, December 25, 2012
This looks good. We are frog people but unfortunately all our frogs have since expired naturally. I still enjoy anything to do with frogs. This is cool this book has made the big circle from Pooker and is now back in Canada. :) Merry Christmas to all and thanks again for the Christmas surprise.

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