First time lucky
More than a decade in the making, Anakana Schofield’s debut novel finds a fitting home.
Quill & Quire magazine
Vancouver author Anakana Schofield is a study in contradictions. She claims to have spent the last 10 years “locked away” in a tiny apartment on the city’s west side, painstakingly crafting her debut novel, Malarky (Biblioasis). Yet since emigrating from Dublin to Vancouver in 1998, Schofield has confronted her new home with the enthusiasm of an ethnographer – diving headlong into the local art and poetry scenes, and exploring the city’s geography, its labour history, and, especially, the social-realist writing that flourished here in the 1960s and ’70s. In the work of authors like D.M. Fraser, Betty Lambert, and Helen Potrebenko, Schofield found her cultural bearings, and further inspiration for documenting “extraordinary ordinary” lives, much like that of the Irish mother at the centre of her novel.