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A Bad Year for Journalists

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5.5 x 8.5 inches


Pop music jingles, statistics, the frames of text and camera selecting the world’s headlines for our perusal. A stroll along the Champs Elysees jammed against the slum of Kibera — A Bad Year for Journalists feeds the jagged, seductive language of media into the emotional cusinart lives of the media’s flawed and courageous practitioners. To say what it was not what it was like.

Shortlisted for Alberta Book Awards Trade Fiction Book Award


By turns sympathetic, critical, darkly funny and painstakingly lyrical, the poems trace journalistic travels in the Middle East – “places at their best dismantled” – and overlay the national and geographical settings with characters and anecdotes so vivid the reader feels as if she might be at home in these places after all… In an increasingly hyperbolic idiom where everything is so conveniently unspeakable, Pasold speaks up, conveying more than impressions or exaggerations; these poems explain “what it was/ not what it was like”. ~Katia Grubisic, The Globe and Mail

Pasold has an unusual ability to paint a whole emotional world. It’s impossible to pluck a Pasold line out of context to show what I mean — her work is just too organic. You’ll have to read the whole book, and you’ll be glad you did. ~Alex Rettie, Alberta Views

A Bad Year for Journalists, in hard lines and fragmented images, evokes the bizarre world of international journalists: the surreal combination of danger and privilege that they embody and their tourist-but-not tourist relationship to the places they cover. ~Lee Shedden, Calgary Herald

A compelling cartography of war torn territory. ~Anne Burke, Prairie Journal

Pasold sneaks in mind’s-eye metaphors and images, the poems carefully structured and solid, belying their driving narrative – she weaves disjointed memories, from rusty jeeps to lust to typewriter. A thrilling, amazing work. ~Bryn Evans, Fast Forward

About the Author

Lisa Pasold has been thrown off a train in Belarus, been fed the world’s best pigeon pie in Marrakech, mushed huskies in the Yukon, learned to polka at Danceland, and been cheated in the Venetian gambling halls of Ca’ Vendramin Calergi. She grew up in Montreal, which gave her the necessary jaywalking skills to survive as a journalist. She currently divides her time between a tiny house in Paris and various borrowed addresses in Toronto. Her first book of poetry, Weave, was published by Frontenac House as part of their poetry series Quartet 2004.

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