(Courtesy Dana Marquis)
Wendy, that hard-drinking, over-thinking, introverted slacker who is perpetually hung-over is baaaaaaack!
All 273 pages of her; 275 if you count the last two totally dark ones, which you probably should, since, you know, she’s pretty dark.
Reviewing books in a community newspaper can be serious work, but when Kahnawa’kehró:non Walter Scott’s abomination (and yes, that is a compliment) gets to your door by mail, you can’t help but feel excited, anxious, ready to dive in and read it in one sitting – and that’s what happened.
Wendy’s world – an alter ego in an alternative world of art, (and artists of many ilks and stereotypes) is screwed up to the core, to say the least. But that’s what makes it so good. Because it also reflects real life.
We would have used other words to describe it, but, you know, we don’t live in Wendy’s chaotic world of drinking, smoking and swearing. We have a family newspaper to run.
You honestly can’t put it down once you start, so make time, sit down, and read until done.
Scott has been pulling it off for years, putting the arts scene on paper, from his unique and insanely creative mind, and flushing out all the stereotypes and the realities, forcing you to sometimes simultaneously cringe and laugh at his wit; the droll drawings, the over-the-top characters, the everything about it.
He’s worked with the New Yorker, art fans want him across the globe, and he is still the same old Walter, as far as we can tell.
He just has more hair now.
Wendy is easily one of the funniest books out there, and anyone who knows Scott knows he’s not going to stand up in the middle of the room and make everyone laugh. That’s what makes it brilliant.
When he first started this wild ride, you could never see him coming. He was just too quiet.
Now? He fits right in.
Critiquing the crazy world of art is quite apropos, and the character development, the side jokes, the innuendos and the storylines make for a perfect cocktail of drama and hilarity.
But the story is going somewhere, it isn’t just a bunch of craziness thrown together, hoping for the best.
In the middle of being late for class (even while teaching it), hung-over almost constantly, and down on her luck, like, every single day, you also get pulled into the real world feels of what Wendy’s life is and could be.
Dating, especially in the context Wendy finds herself in is tough (you have to read it to find out), but ultimately, all we want is love, right? Even if it’s a crazier variety than usual.
Oh, and all this while she pursues her M.F.A. (don’t forget the F!). Ouf.
Wendy plays off of a white apologist (to the extreme) named Eric; a hoity-toity, artsy-fartsy, over-the-top….whatever she is; a friend from town who is passive aggressive; and the hunky love interest who, well, you’ll see.
Add it all together and this is a masterpiece of modern art (no, not that kind), and Walter Scott can rest for a little while until his next Wendy book, play, movie or whatever’s in his future.
And you can be damn sure we’ll be there to review it.
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Eastern Door Editor/Publisher Steve Bonspiel started his journalism career in January 2003 with The Nation magazine, a newspaper serving the Cree of northern Quebec.
Since that time, he has won numerous regional and national awards for his in-depth, impassioned writing on a wide variety of subjects, including investigative pieces, features, editorials, columns, sports, human interest and hard news.
He has freelanced for the Montreal Gazette, Toronto Star, Windspeaker, Nunatsiaq News, Calgary Herald, Native Peoples Magazine, and other publications.
Among Steve's many awards is the Paul Dumont-Frenette Award for journalist of the year with the Quebec Community Newspapers Association in 2015, and a back-to-back win in 2010/11 in the Canadian Association of Journalists' community category - one of which also garnered TED a short-list selection of the prestigious Michener award.
He was also Quebec Community Newspapers Association president from 2012 to 2019, and continues to strive to build bridges between Native and non-Native communities for a better understanding of each other.