See Magazine puts two Coach House titles on its reading list

By Jay Smith
See Magazine
May 3, 2007

Human Resources

Rachel Zolf

Available Now / Coach House Books / Paperback / $16.95

If you’re the sort of person who feels an instinctive urge to deface the sign outside Wendy’s reading "Now Hiring Cashier’s & / Hamburger Flipper’s" or whose heart sinks whenever you hear words like "impactful" or "paradigm," or simply despairs at the indignities proper English suffers every day at the hands of capitalism, we suspect poet Rachel Zolf’s book is for you.

The description of her book on her website is better than our hollow words can muster, so we’ll cop out and quote it verbatim: "Here at the intersection of creation and repackaging, we experience the visceral and psychic cost of selling things with depleted language. Pilfered rhetorics fed into the machine are spit out as bungled associations among money, shit, culture, work and communication." Read it aloud in restaurants. Or at dinner parties. The possibilities for social alienation are so high that we can’t help but recommend it.

The Milk Chicken Bomb

Andrew Wedderburn

May / Paperback / Coach House Books / $21.95

We’ve noticed a disturbing trend ever since the oil boom dropped on E-town like a H-bomb: Calgary seems to be usurping us as the province’s cultural epicentre. Everyone from the CBC to Aritha Van Herk to lit-wise Toronto are warming up to this story from Calgary’s Wedderburn about a troubled 10-year-old growing up an outsider in small-town Alberta. There’s even a wintertime lemonade stand -- how’s that for cultural commentary?

Though we like the cover -- a mesmerizing pattern of milk cartons, raw chickens and little tiny bombs -- we endorse this book without even having read it because we trust Coach House’s literary judgment. Plus, we have an ingrained bias toward of tales of alienation in small-town Alberta. Even if the ones emanating from that despicable urban centre to the south.

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