Eleven Little Pieces: Tristan Hughes Takes Part in a new Experiment in Collective Narration

In response to the recent publication of No Rest for the Dead, a crime novel written piecemeal by twenty-six different authors, the National Post decided to try its hand at collective composition, albeit on a smaller scale. The result: "The Fine Art of Basking," a short story written in segments by eleven talented Canadian writers, including new Coach House author Tristan Hughes. The story itself is a diverse but cohesive tale of intrigue and miscommunications. Tristan Hughes's latest novel, Eye Lake, will be available this fall from Coach House:

From where he stands, hidden behind a line of bushes at the edge of a garden, Cass listens to the newly formed gap in the sounds that surround him; a small patch of silence that seems to form itself into a sigh, an exhalation, of relief. He had heard that song too many times. At his feet a pile of feathers give their final twitch and then are still.

It feels more bearable now, to listen, and what he hears is unfamiliar: the chirruping of insects, the rustle of the bushes’ leaves, the spooked twittering of other birds. He doesn’t recognize them, could not tell you their names. But then again, he hasn’t been paid to search out this superfluous knowledge. See what you are employed to see, know what you are asked to know, what you need to know — these are the tenets of his profession. To do more would be a simple inefficiency.

For the full story, see here.

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