Bruce Gillespie

A blog by freelance writer and editor Bruce Gillespie.

Archive for September 2008

Listen to Bruce on the CBC

In advance of tonight’s launch party for Nobody’s Father, my co-editor, Lynne, and I will be appearing on the CBC this afternoon.

We’ll be on CBC Radio One’s drive-home show, All Points West, with host Jo-Ann Roberts, sometime between 4 and 5 pm PST. For those outside of the Victoria area, you can listen online by visiting the show’s web page and clicking Listen Live.

Written by bgillesp

September 30, 2008 at 11:47 am

Posted in Nobody's Father

Second anthology follows up childless women with the men’s side

Here’s a link to another preview story for Nobody’s Father, this time in the Victoria News. It features a great photo of my co-editor, Lynne Van Luven, and one of our Victoria-based contributors, Aaron Shepard.

In the story, Lynne gives some insight into how the collection came together and who we ended up receiving submissions from.

We didn’t just want it to all be ‘I couldn’t’ or ‘I wouldn’t.’ And I mean really there isn’t a story in here by a man who physically could not have children. I suspect men who actually can’t, aren’t able to talk about it, I think it’s different for women. I think it’s one thing to choose that as a path it’s another to actually be impotent. To not be able to conceive a child there’s got to be some strange shame attached to that…

Written by bgillesp

September 26, 2008 at 9:04 am

Posted in Nobody's Father

Daddy doesn’t always know best

Here’s a link to a a story about Nobody’s Father by Rick Gibbs in Victoria’s alternative news weekly, Monday Magazine. The story is part preview of the upcoming book launch and part review, noting that:

These essays—written by straight men, gay men, younger men, and older men—are more than fascinating. Frequently…they are revelatory and take us to the deepest part of ourselves.

Written by bgillesp

September 25, 2008 at 9:24 am

Posted in Nobody's Father

Nobody’s Father now available at Indigo

After a slight delay, I’m pleased to report that Nobody’s Father: Life Without Kids is now available at Indigo, Chapters and Coles stores. You can also order it online at chapters.indigo.ca. Although the online listing says shipping takes three to five weeks, don’t be fooled: the books are in stock, so you should receive your copy much sooner than that!

Of course, the book is also available through many fine independent bookstores from coast to coast to coast, including Chat Noir Books and McNally Robinson.

Written by bgillesp

September 20, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Posted in Nobody's Father

How it all began

Many people have asked me where the idea for Nobody’s Mother, and now Nobody’s Father, came from. So, I asked my co-editor, Lynne Van Luven, to share her inspiration for the series:

I consider both anthologies to be conversations between  contributors and  readers. I’ve always thought the strength of anthologies is that they collect a variety of viewpoints and modes of expression in one publication, allowing readers to make whatever they wish of the resulting melange.

So, it’s somewhat ironic that the impetus for Nobody’s Mother was a conversation I could not enter. A few months after I began teaching at the University of Victoria, I was invited to lunch by a couple of female colleagues. Theirs was a welcoming gesture to a newcomer, yet the two of them spent the entire lunch — more than an hour — trading tales about their children. As the lunch ground on, and I munched stoically away at my spinach salad, I began to tire of the tales of their teenaged progeny. In fact, I sorely wished the topic would shift.

However, instead of interrupting,  I decided to conduct a mini-social experiment: I would not enter the conversation until they invited me into it by asking about MY children or lack thereof. They never did. These two intelligent women seemed oblivious to the fact that a third party at their table — someone not usually taciturn — sat mutely for over an hour.  

I did not make an issue of their rudeness, and we parted on friendly terms. But the experience left me both annoyed and  baffled: for whom was the Momist performance, a veritable glissando of child-exploits, meant?Were the two women in some strange competition with each other? Or were they bent upon showing me what I had missed by not having children? Not that they had even bothered to inquire….

I had long been conscious of being in the minority as a childless woman, but I now felt galvanized: no doubt other “unchilded” women had similar tales to tell. And I would make it my business to seek them out. And thus was the idea for Nobody’s Mother conceived. I was ecstatic when the editors at TouchWood Editions said they wanted the book.

Nobody’s Father came out of quite a different place — out of curiosity. I wanted  to see if men without children shared any of the feelings reported by childless women. I began to suspect they did in the Fall of 2006, while I was promoting Nobody’s Mother in an English class at the University of Alberta, where I was once a graduate student myself. Afterwards, a young man approached me to ask, “Will there be a men’s book?” I told him I hoped so.  

“We’re under pressure too,” he said. “I come from a farming family and neither my girlfriend nor I want children. My dad just can’t believe it. He keeps saying that I have to have kids, have to have a son, or it will be the end of the family line.”  

And so Bruce Gillespie and I began our quest for essays from men who had stories to tell  about not being fathers. The 23 essays in Nobody’s Father are the “men’s book” the young Albertan asked for.

Written by bgillesp

September 19, 2008 at 4:02 pm

Posted in Nobody's Father

Big news in a small town

My local radio station, CD 98.9, did a short interview with me a few days ago about Nobody’s Father and started playing it on the news today. You can stream the newscast online on the hour or read the piece online.

Written by bgillesp

September 19, 2008 at 2:18 pm

Posted in Nobody's Father

Some of us just don’t want kids

Today’s Toronto Star features the final excerpt from Nobody’s Father. It’s a wonderful piece written by Toronto’s own Jack Hughes that sets out some of the reasons why some men don’t want kids. It has a lovely tone and a great sense of style and is a terrific read. Jack works for an accounting firm and writes weekly film reviews for The Outreach Connection.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these previews of Nobody’s Father. We’ve had lots of great response from Star readers throughout the week, and I can assure you that if you’ve liked these sneak peeks,  you’ll love the book itself.

Written by bgillesp

September 19, 2008 at 8:42 am

Posted in Nobody's Father