University of Alberta Press

Book details

Publication date: January 2018
Features: Foreword/liminaire, introduction
Series: CLC Kreisel Lecture Series
Keywords: Canadian Literature / Essays
Subject(s): BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Literary Figures, LITERARY COLLECTIONS / Essays, Canadian Literature / Essays, Literary essays, Biography: literary, Biography
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press, Canadian Literature Centre / Centre de littérature canadienne

Heather O'Neill. Heather O’Neill is a novelist, short story writer, and essayist. Her work, which includes Lullabies for Little Criminals, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, Daydreams of Angels, and The Lonely Hearts Hotel, has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, The Orange Prize for Fiction, and the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and has won CBC Canada Reads, The Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction, and the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. She lives in Montreal.

Kit Dobson. Kit Dobson is an Associate Professor of English at Mount Royal University. He teaches and publishes in the areas of Canadian literature, film, and globalization studies.

"[Heather O'Neill's] father shared hard-earned wisdom culled from early years as a petty criminal through to his work as a kind of philosopher-janitor. Unfortunately, his enthusiasm for dispensing life advice was in direct opposition to its practical application. But it certainly makes for good reading.... [This] collection, like all of her work, is filled with humour, moments of joy, sudden bursts of deep emotion and heartbreaking sincerity... The lesson in Wisdom in Nonsense is how a writer uses autobiography to inform fiction."

Michael Melgaard, National Post

# 7 on Edmonton Non-Fiction Bestsellers list, April 15, 2018

...a warm and funny collection of memories of O’Neill’s dad, a single parent. Look up Wisdom In Nonsense. Buy it. Give it to your own father. He will understand, and it will bring you closer.

Holly Doan, Blacklock's Reporter

"Wisdom in Nonsense offers up a selection of life lessons given to O’Neill as a child which come to act not as hard-and-fast rules but as guideposts to an occasionally odd-ball yet always sincere process of reflection on childhood, writing, and the father-daughter bond.... Reading about her connection with her father and the way in which they lived on the margins of society comes to illuminate O’Neill’s ability to depict the strange, perhaps even unexpected beauty of such bonds in her fiction." [Full review at]

Erin Della Mattia, Prairie Fire

ISBNs: 9781772123777 978-1-77212-377-7 Title: wisdom in nonsense ISBNs: 9781772124002 978-1-77212-400-2 Title: wisdom in nonsense ISBNs: 9781772123999 978-1-77212-399-9 Title: wisdom in nonsense ISBNs: 9781772124019 978-1-77212-401-9 Title: wisdom in nonsense