Ann Ireland is the author of A Certain Mr. Takahashi (winner of the Seal First Novel Award), and Exile (shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize). The first edition of her novel The Instructor was a finalist for the Ontario Trillium Award. She lives in Toronto.
The Ann Ireland Library
This special 3-book bundle collects three masterful novel by one of Canada’s finest writers of literary fiction.
A Certain Mr. Takahashi: To Mrs. Hopper, Yoshi Takahashi may be just another name from her daughters’ past, but for Jean and her sister, Colette, he stands for much more. Years ago, Mr. Takahashi moved into their Toronto neighbourhood and sent the adolescent lives of Jean and Colette into a tailspin. They weren’t content merely to befriend the Japanese pianist - in their infatuation they sought to mirror his life as closely as possible. The enchantment lingers into adult life in ways both sisters are reluctant to recognize. This weekend they have been invited to an extravagant family celebration in Victoria, B.C. As the party gains momentum, so does the tension between the sisters. As before, the larger-than-life Mr. Takahashi casts his spell.
Exile: Rescued from the dangers he faces in a Latin American military dictatorship, writer Carlos Romero Estevez is given a new life in Vancouver. His rescuers, a benevolent group devoted to aiding oppressed writers, believe they’ve found a poster-boy. Carlos thinks he’s found a new life, new freedom, and new, powerful friends. But soon everyone’s illusions are dispelled, and Carlos finds life in exile to be a new kind of prison.
The Blue Guitar: At the International Classical Guitar Competition in Montreal, top-flight musicians fly in from all over the world to compete in a gruelling week. A career can be made or lost here, and the slightest mishap - a lapse of memory, a shaking right hand, a broken fingernail - can ruin years of preparation. Judges and contestants alike battle and scheme to achieve what they most desire here. There is much more than pretty music being performed on this stage.
The Instructor: Simone Paris is nineteen when she leaves a small town bound for Mexico with her art instructor, Otto Guest. Their affair is loaded with desire, not only physical but intellectual. Theirs is a mutual addiction made up of philosophy and shared aesthetic interest, entwined with sexual fascination. Six years after their relationship crumbles, Otto returns to Simone. His reappearance triggers vivid memories which she expresses in a voice matured by experience and regret.
- The Blue Guitar
- A Certain Mr. Takahashi
- The Instructor
It may sound unlikely, but Ireland has managed to create a page-turner of a novel about a classical guitar competition: You want to know who will make it to the next round, and who will win.
Exile is social commentary at its subtle and witty best.