Daily Archives: August 5, 2011

‘Tales of Old Toronto’ by Suzanne Marnie

This is a collection of short stories set in or around Ontario, Canada.  It’s available in many places on the internet as it is no longer in copyright.

They are rather odd, nostalgic, sad little stories.  Most, but not all, of them are written from a woman’s perspective and are domestic in scope.  A couple of them start out in the same way, with a long survey of the room in which they are ostensibly written, and they seem to trail off rather inconclusively at the end.  I mostly was left with a sense of lonely, unfulfilled lives- a bit like Eleanor Rigby set in the backblocks of Upper Canada. They’re not particularly sharp-eyed or insightful.

I can find nothing about Suzanne Marnie on the ‘net, and these strange little tales seem to just dangle in amongst antiquarian works on Upper Canada.  They’re queer, defeated little things.

Reason read: Getting myself in the mood for “Old Toronto” while I was there.