"Edson’s vivid portrayal of the urban area, as well as the working class and underclass, creates a vision of Saint John that highlights the discrepancy between the pre-modern idyllic notion of life in Atlantic Canada and the more complicated reality of the region."

-The New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Moon is Real update

I've submitted my new novel The Moon is Real to my editor at Oberon Press and will now wait to see what she has to say. It is the third book in a trilogy that includes The Dirty Milkman (2005) and A Place of Pretty Flowers (2007). If Oberon accepts the manuscript it would likely be released in the fall of 2013. If it's rejected then it's back to work...

"One of the leading literary publishers in Canada."
-The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature

Visit Oberon's website HERE.

I've decided to try for a press in Atlantic Canada...Oberon has been gracious enough to give me a chance to try this out, and if I can't find a suitor, they will allow me to resubmit it...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stephen King in New Brunswick...

Master Storyteller Stephen King made a surprise visit to Sussex High School last week to speak to students about writing. How cool would that be?

Check out the full story HERE.

A quote for writers

"A good story can educate as it entertains, certainly, but that is not the reason that I write. I write because I find it personally fulfilling. I write for me. Don’t get me wrong, I find it very rewarding that readers seem to enjoy my work and find some meaning in it for themselves, but I would be doing this even if no one bought one of my books ever again."

-David Adams Richards

Monday, October 22, 2012

David Adams Richards wins Thomas Raddall

David Adams Richards has won the 2012 Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award for his novel Incidents in the Life of Marcus Paul. He also won the award in 1994 for For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down.

Richards has won the Giller Prize, the Governor General's Award (twice), two Geminis, the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Canadian Authors Association Prize, and is named to the Order of Canada. 

But the sad truth is, he is still unknown to many Canadians (the majority of whom live west of New Brunswick). I've talked to many supposedly well-read people who read everything under the sun it seems, yet when I mention David Adams Richards they all frown and say they've never heard of him. I tell them they're missing something special. It's like saying you're a hockey fan but have never heard of Sidney Crosby.

It's about time we start talking more about Richards and his work. Atwood gets a headline for waking up in the morning. If the world ever does anything right, we'll see him win the Nobel Prize someday. When and if that time comes, then maybe this country will finally recognize him for what he is -- far and away the best writer Canada has ever produced.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

At the movies...

The other day a friend of mine asked me to name my three favourite film performances of all time, and while I realize this is a blog about literary things (I'm smack in the middle of a new novel so I don't have much to say about my work these days), the three films below all have literary connections, and so here they are: 

1-Richard Harris in Wrestling Ernest Hemingway (1993). Harris plays a washed up sea captain living out his days in Florida. His claim to fame is that he once beat up Hemingway. Teamed up with Robert Duvall, it really doesn't get any better than this.

2-Robert Shaw in Jaws (1975). I loved Peter Benchley's novel about the greatest rogue shark of all time, but it was Shaw's performance as Quint that made the movie (dare I say it) better than the book. It's also my favourite movie, cheesy mechanical shark and all.

3-Mickey Rourke in Barfly (1987). Charles Bukowski's autobiographical screenplay comes to life with Rourke playing Henry Chinaski, a rough, tough and crude eccentric poet living in L.A's Skid Row. Playing opposite Faye Dunaway, it's Rourke's best performance.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What’s my writing style?


“Hemingway's simple style appealed to Edson and had a profound influence on his own developing aesthetic.”
-The New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia, 2012

“Edson's prose is straight-up, deceptively simple in its style. Likely, it took a lot of hard work to arrive at his pared-down narrative.”
-HERE Weekly, 2011 (review of The Goon)

The Dirty Milkman is simply and beautifully written. Every page is an example of this.”
-New Brunswick Reader, 2006

“Edson's simple, straightforward style, which looks easy but is really hard to achieve, is one of this book's most important features.”
-PEI Guardian, 2006 (review of The Dirty Milkman)

“Remarkable in its simplicity...”
-Ottawa Xpress, 2005 (review of The Dirty Milkman)

“Milkman’s narrative voice is frugal and unobtrusive; not terse, a la Hemingway--freighted, heavy--but just direct and unaccoutred, almost wholly free of writerly wankery, and so immensely easy to read.”
-The Danforth Review, 2006

“It’s easy to see that Jerrod Edson is a disciple of Ernest Hemingway in his controlled, compelling prose…”
-The New Brunswick Reader, 2000 (review of The Making of Harry Cossaboom)

Thursday, July 19, 2012


 "Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I've just officially started writing Dogs in Heat again, and plan to keep at it till it's finished. I've got a 90-page skeleton of the story already completed. I've created a bit of a safe haven with my Saint John novels and it's time to take a chance and try something new. It's a wild ride with Satan, Ernest Hemingway, and Vincent van Gogh, and it's either going to be the best thing I ever write, or the worst. Either way, it's a fun new direction that scares and excites me, so that can only be a good thing.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia

I've recently been added to the New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia. The piece was written by Michael VanTassell. Check out the link below:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Moon is Real

After a year of rewriting I'm happy to say that I'm now finished my fifth novel, The Moon is Real. I've printed a copy of the manuscript and will give it one final reading to fix any minor errors. It sits at just 47,000 words -- my shortest work since The Making of Harry Cossaboom, but I think it's the best I've done. (But isn't every new book supposed to feel that way?) The story revisits The Dirty Milkman's Charlie and Prin, A Place of Pretty Flowers' Jeremy Wiggins and Jimmy S., and for those who paid extra close attention to The Goon, the once-mentioned tollbooth operator, Walter Stephens.  

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

THE MOON IS REAL snags Honourable Mention

Writers' Federation of New Brunswick

An 80-page excerpt from an early draft of The Moon is Real has earned an Honorable Mention for WFNB's 2012 David Adams Richards Prize for Fiction.

Back in 1997 I earned an Honourable Mention in WFNB's Short Fiction category for Killer on the Road. I was just starting to write seriously back then, so it was a great thrill. This year's Honourable Mention tells me I need to be better.

Many thanks go to WFNB for holding this competition every year.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Hemingway Papers

Hemingway's 1923 passport photo
From 1920 to 1924 Ernest Hemingway worked on and off for The Toronto Star, and though this period remains for the most part either skimmed or swept under the rug by most Hemingway scholars (god forbid us Canadians played a part in his growth), preferring to focus more on his time with the Kansas City Star for which he worked for a mere six and half months as an 18-year-old, it was Hemingway's Toronto Star experience that is one of the earliest and most important times in his apprenticeship as a writer. It is widely known that his Paris years sculpted his simple style that would, within a few years, make him one of the most important literary voices of the 20th Century. And there are several writers attributed to coaching the young writer along during this time (Gertrude Stein, John Dos Passos, F. Scott Fitzgerald etc.). But it should be remembered that Hemingway was still under the employ of the Toronto Star while in Paris, working as a foreign correspondent. Indeed, one of the lesser mentioned writers who joined Hemingway in Paris was Star writer Morley Callaghan who'd befriended Hemingway while in Toronto. Callaghan often boxed with Hemingway but in many bios his name will be omitted, preferring to only mention the American poet Ezra Pound who also boxed with him. Callaghan later wrote a lovely book called That Summer in Paris, one of the first Hemingway biographies I'd ever read. For Hemingway geeks like myself, I was excited yesterday when it was announced that The Star will  publish an 80-page newsprint collection of more than 70 of the Toronto articles (not sure yet if there will be any from his Paris dispatches).

To check out Friday's article reprinted from 1923 when the 24-year-old author was dispatched to cover a jailbreak from the Kingston Penitentiary CLICK HERE. To order a copy of the articles directly from The Star CLICK HERE.

For a more detailed account of Hemingway in Toronto, read Hemingway: The Toronto Years by William Burrill.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

An intro to Saint John...

This is an excerpt from a novel I'm working on called The Moon is Real. A hired killer from Montreal has just entered downtown Saint John, NB, for the first time:

He turned off at Main Street and followed it downtown, past the Aquatic Centre and into the heart of the city, at water level, by the boardwalk and the Hooper sculptures, and then he veered right, onto Water Street where the old brick buildings carved out a piece of the land along the street at the water's edge. Ivan drove slowly, looking at the buildings, at the old brickwork and the tall arched windows. He was a man who appreciated these things, and despite the greyness of the day he knew this was a city time had touched with both humility and beauty, and he felt it as he drove.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nobody did it like Hemingway...

Hemingway at his peak, late 1930s

He lay flat on the brown, pine-needled floor of the forest, his chin on his folded arms, and high overhead the wind blew in the tops of the pine trees. The mountainside sloped gently where he lay; but below it was steep and he could see the dark of the oiled road winding through the pass. There was a stream alongside the road and far down the pass he saw a mill beside the stream and falling water of the dam, white in the summer sunlight.

-Opening paragraph of my favourite novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls, published in 1940.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

THE GOON reviewed in the PEI Guardian

By Elizabeth Cran
March 3, 2012

The Goon by Jerrod Edson (Oberon Press, Ottawa, no price given) is the young novelist's *third book, and, we think, his best so far.

It's the tale of Jack, a 58-year-old ex-NHL enforcer and a big old drunk. Jack works part-time on the toll bridge in Saint John (where Edson grew up) and spends the rest of the time chasing women, shooting pop cans in the woods behind his house, reminiscing and boasting and, of course, drinking.

He knows lots of people, but probably his only real friend is his old cat, Junior. With him in the story are his neighbour Roy, who's still grieving the death of his lover, Ken, five years ago, and his son, Cam. Cam is 17 and a really good hockey player, but afraid of everything.

These characters, and several others, are all more or less complex. Among the finest scenes are the death and burial of Junior and those surrounding Cam's successful fight with the opposing team's bully. The Goon begins with a trio of men stuck in their own past, but ends on a note of hope.

*Actually it's my fourth book.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Excerpt from THE DIRTY MILKMAN to be published

Commuterlit.com will be publishing the first chapter of The Dirty Milkman in the next two weeks. They've also published the first chapters of The Goon and A Place of Pretty Flowers. It's good exposure for me so I'm grateful to them for it. You can find it here: http://commuterlit.com/tag/jerrod/

Thursday, February 16, 2012

You just have to go on when it is worst and most helpless -- there is only one thing to do to a novel and that is go straight on through to the end of the damn thing.
--Ernest Hemingway in a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1929

This how I'm feeling these days...I'm nearing the end of my rewrite for The Moon is Real and it's been a while -- more than a year now -- so the next six months will be putting my head down and just getting it done. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

THE CORRECTIONS by Jonathan Franzen

While I was reading Freedom a friend of mine told me The Corrections was even better. So I put it on my list. Unfortunately, after reading it I don't hold the same view as my friend. At all. Where Freedom took you through the lives of three people -- from their childhoods to their senior years, The Corrections feels somewhat fragmented; it just doesn't seem to go anywhere. 568 pages and the story never quite gets off the ground -- certainly not in the way Freedom does. Now I'm never going to bash any writer's work in any quick review I give on my blog (and who the hell am I to criticize Jonathan Franzen?), but I will say that it was a disappointing read for me. Sure, there are moments of greatness, as Franzen showed from start to finish in Freedom, but if I'd read The Corrections first, I doubt I would have ever given Freedom a shot.

I did, however, pick up signed First Editions of each book, and of these two, The Corrections is my favorite...Ironically enough, the first run needed corrections -- it had a printing error -- pages 430 and 431 are in the wrong order. The publisher included an insert stating the error and I was lucky enough to find a copy with it, complete with Franzen's quick-to-do signature.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Excerpt from A PLACE OF PRETTY FLOWERS to be published...

CommuterLit.com recently accepted the first chapter of A Place of Pretty Flowers and will appear on their website within a week or so. It's a great way to introduce myself to a new audience and hopefully sell a few books along the way. I've also recently submitted the first chapter of The Dirty Milkman and will probably submit a piece from my work-in-progress called The Moon is Real.

See the post below to learn more about CommuterLit.com