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photo: Noah Meyer
Writer, visual artist, and cultural worker Renee Rodin was born and raised in Montreal. Spending a year in London, England, after graduating from Sir George Williams University, she returned to Vancouver, Canada, in the 1960s. In the 1980s she founded the bookstore R2B2 and ran its regular readings series for eight years. She was literary co-ordinator of the Western Front from 1992-1993. Her writing has appeared in numerous periodicals, and her visual work, generally photographic, has been displayed widely. Her piece in the exhibition Fear of Others—Art Against Racism toured North America in 1990. Rodin is the author of a book of prose poems Bread and Salt (Talonbooks), Subject to Change (Talonbooks), and a chapbook Ready for Freddy (Nomados).
QUOTES OF NOTESubject to Change
These short narratives may move with the whimsy of anecdote, but are rich with consequence. Rodin renders a full range of human possibilities: from the profound and fragile bond between a daughter and her dying father to the halting and ambivalent connection between a mother and the predatory young man who adopts her as a surrogate. Always fluid, always seeking, Rodin’s prose in these embodied snapshots offers up a complex and fascinating contemporary world.
— Anne Stone
Here is a clear-eyed account of a life lived with passionate commitment to community, family, and the undying need for social justice. Renee Rodin’s candid voice opens up dark seams in contemporary life even as it lightens them with a quick sense of the surreal in the serious. We need her gritty mix of pathos, anger, and deadpan humour to look at what we often overlook in our daily connections both sought and unsought. Here are pages that moved me deeply and pages that made me laugh out loud.
— Daphne Marlatt
Renee Rodin’s writing is stunning in its clarity and the depths of emotional resonance that it draws from. Each word that unfolds is a gift that she brings to imagination—both the terror and the awe-full fragile beauty that the process of living discloses. It’s all so singular yet what she writes speaks to me in and beyond language. A truly beautiful book!
— Roy Miki
Renee Rodin lives the life I would try to live if I had the time. Luckily for us, she tells the stories that such a life provides. Take the time to read one tonight, and another tomorrow night. I’ll meet you there.
— George Bowering
“The intensity, care and wit that Renee Rodin brought to years of cultural and other activisms is now honed into a distinctive voice—funny, relaxed, passionately intelligent, deeply attentive to reality.”
— Stan Persky
“Renee’s style is spare yet elegant, her narratives deceptively simple. And what a life! — enriched as it is by her arrangement of it, as literature.”
— Michael Turner
"…a delightful testament to the complexity of people and the many roles we play in our lifetimes."
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.