Thursday, May 22, 2014
Well here is an article about Dolly's book Loddy Dah, as you know Dolly is another talent from Verdun ,and she is off to Toronto tomorrow morning for the ongoing launch of her book,......writing is not an easy game & Dolly has stuck with her plan for a long time now.....so Dolly Fantastic Job & continued success.............. Cheers ! LesF
EDMONTON - Even though she’s lived in Edmonton since 1993, Dolly Dennis has never been able to let go of the many decades she spent in Montreal.
So it’s no surprise that her debut novel, Loddy-Dah (Guernica), sees the recently retired administrative assistant and multi-faceted writer — who has written for newspapers, literary journals, anthologies and the stage — returning to the scene of her youth, amid the bustle and turmoil of the end of the 1960s.
It’s a period that has become shorthand for social change, from Woodstock to Kent State. But Montreal felt that change more acutely than many other cities, Dennis says.
“It was just the best time to be young and idealistic,” she says of 1967 in particular, which is when Loddy-Dah begins. “The world was changing. Montreal was changing. It was just before the time that people started to leave. I wanted to capture that time, because I didn’t want anybody to forget what it was like. It’s not the Montreal that’s there now.
“I always knew I would write about it. I just didn’t know it would be 40 years later.”
When Loddy-Dah begins, Expo 67 is underway, putting a global spotlight on Montreal and giving the city a much-needed injection of energy and confidence. By the time it wraps up, the October Crisis of 1970, and other attacks carried out by the FLQ before that, have brought Montreal a much different kind of attention.
This, Dennis says, was the beginning of a sea change that would really take off in 1976 with the election of the Parti Québécois, whose reign in provincial politics she calls “a dictatorship.” She singles out the Charter of the French Language, which established French as the official language of Quebec and mandated, among other things, that all English commercial signage and advertising must be removed or accompanied by the same text, in French, that is at least the same size. Dennis, who is bilingual, watched as many companies, including her employer, the Montreal-based Sun Life Financial, moved their headquarters to Toronto in protest.
“It was very stressful living under those kinds of conditions,” Dennis remembers. “People just don’t get it unless they were there.”
In Loddy-Dah, however, these issues have not yet come to a boil. Her eponymous protagonist works for a small English-language theatre company, struggles with overeating (especially in contrast to her sister, who suffers from anorexia), and tries to find her way in the world.
There are some dark passages. We learn that Loddy has dealt with sexual violence since she was a child, at the hands of a cruel stepfather. And Dennis is particularly acute at showing the ways in which adult overweight women are taunted, groped and condescended to by men who see them not as people, but objects to be discarded.
“I always work with character first,” Dennis says of her writing process. “I put on some weight after menopause and went to this weight-loss group. There was this obese girl there, and I studied her. She had dirty hair and always wore red. She had a pretty tragic life. And that’s where I found Loddy.” To find her name, Dennis scoured the Journal’s obituaries page, where she eventually came across a recently deceased 92-year-old named Charlotte. For short, Lotte — or Loddy.
Earlier this month, Dennis returned to Montreal to launch her novel at the Blue Met international literary festival. She says that while some residents aren’t keen on revisiting these chapters in the city’s past, she wasn’t going to let that get in her way.
“That’s one thing about the aging process. You find out who you are, and you don’t care what anybody else says. It’s such a wonderful thing to come to grips with.
“What are they going to do, burn me at the stake? That’s been done.”
Dolly Dennis launches Loddy-Dah at Audreys Books (10702 Jasper Ave.) on Thursday, June 12 at 7 p.m.
© Copyright (c) The Edmonton Journal
Posted by Les_F at 5:21 PM