Cameron Dodds has just turned thirty. A writer, he get his ideas from the lives of others, often borrowing stories from the patients of his workplace, the Salvation Army Treatment Centre. When one of the patients, Darrel Greene, hangs himself, Cameron sees a great opportunity for a story -- maybe even a novel. He begins to research Darrel's past, and decides to visit his sister, June, a grown woman with Down's Syndrome. As Cameron develops a relationship with June and delves further into Darrel's past, he makes many discoveries, none of which is more surprising than the one he makes about himself. First published in 2003, Still Life with June won the 2004 ReLit Award and was nominated for the 2003 Pearson Canada Readers' Choice Book Award. It was also a finalist for the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGTB Fiction in 2005, and was named a 2003 Best Book of the Year by NOW Magazine.
Travel Notes on Amazon wrote:
There was a good dose of risk taking and edginess but I’m not entirely sure the author resolved things enough, delved deep enough, found enough honesty there, to counteract all the ways that the treatment of the characters (particularly the one with Downs Syndrome) didn’t always ring true.
This novel is the real thing, gritty and urban (or attemptedly so) but amazingly right on target in 100 different ways. Greer can really write, let me say that. You find yourself swept into the novel almost despite yourself, and if that's not a sign of greatness in a book, I don't know what is. The gay theme is an important undercurrent, which makes it all the more powerful. I'll read anything Greer writes ... honestly.
Leave a Reply