Review: The New York Times / Sunday Book Review

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‘Adult Onset,’ by Ann-Marie MacDonald

Do our more modest northern neighbors talk about the Great Canadian Novel? After all, they have big geography there too — the mountains, the prairies. “Always in view was the vastness of what in most countries would be called a sea but in Canada was known simply as ‘one of the Great Lakes,’ ” the Canadian writer Ann-Marie MacDonald writes in her big, troubling and brave new novel. Books like hers have a continental sweep: The writer amply stocks them with people and ideas, with all she knows. Spare, quiet perfection isn’t the aim. Read more…

“Answering the question why I love this book is, when it’s with reference to a book I’ve written, is extremely hard.”
Ann-Marie MacDonald, 56, writer, Toronto

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Publishers Weekly

“MacDonald’s strong narrative is a compelling examination of the loneliness and the often-absurd helplessness of being a parent of young children.” Read more

Kickass Canadians

Ann-Marie (right) reading from ‘Adult Onset’ at the Ottawa International Writers Festival, with CBC’s Sandra Abma, November 2014

Ann-Marie MacDonald, writer-actor-creator-feminist

“As an artist you have to have authentic self and an authentic core, which is a channel for stories and for meaning.” – Ann-Marie MacDonald

I was bewitched by Fall On Your Knees when it first came out, and have followed Ann-Marie’s career ever since. If you’ve read her work, you know what a lyrical and poetic author she is. Even more than that, she seems to possess otherworldliness; from her three novels, there’s a strong sense of haunting, of past and present irrevocably intertwined, and of a great connection to the wisdom of the spirits.

Such a rich tapestry begs to be examined, down to its barest threads. Read more…

Review: The Guardian (UK)

Adult Onset by Ann-Marie MacDonald review – an acidly funny portrait of parenthood

A writer’s stint in the psychic sweat lodge of toddler-rearing prompts a search for the secrets of her troubled childhood

It’s April on an ordinary Monday in a trendy Toronto neighbourhood and the trees are “tight with buds”. A woman, married to another woman (partner sounds “sexless” and lesbian sounds “lizardy”), walks her child and ageing dog. Mary Rose MacKinnon’s life is a densely woven fabric of domestic detail: “expiring” birthday balloons, grilled cheese, ingested toothpaste, hamsters, glass unicorns. But insistent as the faint pings of sonar, distant memories begin to intrude. Mary Rose increasingly sees double: while parenting her lively two-year-old, Maggie, she remembers herself at the same age, erratically parented by her own depressed mother. The result – in the capable hands of Ann-Marie MacDonald, Orange Prize nominee for her 1996 novel Fall on Your Knees – is a powerful psychological gyre. – Read more

Atlantic Books Today

Ann-Marie MacDonald’s latest novel revisits painful terrain to find forgiveness

“The way I’ve been thinking of [this book] is like when you haven’t gone grocery shopping, but need to make supper. There’s always pasta. My youngest was five when I started writing this book. I thought okay, I’m going to start writing fiction again, but I’m writing pasta. It’s going to be here-and-now, no sets and costumes.” – Ann-Marie MacDonald

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Vancouver Sun

Sun Book Club chats with Adult Onset author Ann-Marie MacDonald

Photograph by: Arlen Redekop , Vancouver Sun

The Sun’s book club held a live chat with Ann-Marie MacDonald, author of Adult Onset, a novel about memory and modern parenting.

View chat transcript