Tamai Kobayashi‘s first novel, Prairie Ostrich (Goose Lane Editions, 2014), was launched here in Toronto last month to much fanfare. The author was joined by fellow writer Kyo Maclear–who hosted the festivities at Another Story Book Shop–as Kobayashi fielded questions from the floor, which was standing room only.
That the launch was well attended won’t come as a surprise to anyone following Canadian books. During the week of March 17, Kobayashi made a splash as guest editor of The Afterword, the National Post‘s book blog, posting on topics such as coping with trauma through storytelling, writing about children and animals, seeing–or not seeing–yourself in Canadian literature, and understanding history.
At the same time, Prairie Ostrich was racking up positive reviews from critics and bloggers alike. NOW‘s Susan G. Cole included the novel in her list of must-read books, and in reviewing Prairie Ostrich for the National Post, poet and novelist Jennifer LoveGrove called it “an urgent and memorable, thought-provoking work.” At the Lesbrary, blogger Danika observed that Prairie Ostrich “makes you feel deeply for the people involved” and should “be absorbed slowly, letting all the subtlety of narrative sink in,” a sentiment echoed by Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian. Calling the book “mesmerizing,” Casey herself praised its “subtle, quiet power,” and advised not rushing through the prose.
Indeed, Prairie Ostrich is a story to be fully savored; we at HSWLA are thrilled it has found an audience willing to do just that.