“I once attended a panel discussion where the topic was ‘Canadian Literature: Quiet Writing for a Quiet Nation.’ Leonard Cohen’s Beautiful Losers is anything but quiet. It rants, seethes, and uses humour as a machete. The hyper-sensual language and extravagant fantasy of the erotic trysts between the narrator, his lover ‘F,’ and the ghost of saint Catherine Tekakwitha changed my understanding of fiction. I realized that thinking outside traditional heterosexual binaries requires a new template and so-called ‘realism’ can simply reinforce the status quo. Beautiful Losers showed me that literature could re-imagine what sexuality can be rather than merely slavishly reproducing the surface of life.”
Barry Webster is a writer, translator and musician whose work often deals with how the destruction of the natural environment affects human identity, psychology and sexuality. The Lava in My Bones, his latest book, was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the Ferro-Grumley Award, and his first, The Sound of All Flesh, won a ReLit Award. He is presently working on a novel about the fall of the Berlin Wall.