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Book Title: The Shape I Gave You|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 412 KB
v The author of the book: Martha Baillie
Edition: Knopf Canada
Date of issue: March 7th 2006
ISBN 13: 9780676977486
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books The Shape I Gave You:The night before she leaves to give a recital in another city, Ulrike Huguenot, a young pianist, arrives at her Berlin apartment planning to spend a relaxing evening there. Instead, she finds, stuffed in her mailbox, an unexpected and unwelcome letter. It is from Beatrice Mann, a Canadian sculptor, a friend of her father, Gustave, and also, Ulrike believes, his lover. What could this woman possibly have to say to her? And why now, seven years after her father’s death?
“I’m writing to you because my daughter has died,” begins Beatrice’s extraordinary letter of confession. Her only child, Ines, has been killed at the age of eighteen, and Beatrice has closed herself in her Toronto studio. Unable to speak openly with her grieving husband, Isaac, she turns to Ulrike, a young woman she barely knows. While she retells, and possibly reshapes, the past – her obsession with the exacting and complex Gustave, and her relationship with her elusive, now vanished, daughter – Isaac sets out on a journey of his own.
As Ulrike reads about Beatrice’s life and Gustave’s role in it, she reluctantly revisits the world of her own memories and starts to see her present in an altered light.
In The Shape I Gave You, acclaimed novelist and poet Martha Baillie explores the complex relationships between parents and children, men and women, to create a novel of spare elegance that gives piercing insight into the nature of confession and how we choose who to ask for absolution.
Read information about the authorMartha Baillie was born in Toronto, in 1960, and educated in a French-English bilingual school. At seventeen she left for Scotland where she studied history and modern languages (French and Russian) at the University of Edinburgh.
She completed her studies at the Sorbonne in Paris and at the University of Toronto. While at university, Baillie became involved in theatre.
She continued to act after graduation, taking scene study workshops and classes in voice and movement, while supporting herself by waitressing and teaching private French classes.
In 1981, she took an extended trip through parts of Asia including Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Burma, Nepal and India. This experience inspired her to switch her focus from acting to writing. Upon her return to Canada, she acquired an Ontario teaching certificate and briefly taught ESL to adults and French immersion to grade five students.
Today, she works part-time for the Toronto Public Library. She has done so for nearly twenty years, performing as a storyteller in schools, and day cares, organizing poetry readings, and community film screenings.
Canoeing and hiking are two of her principal passions, along with visual art, the theatre and opera.
Baillie’s first novel, My Sister Esther, was published in 1995, followed by Madame Balashovskaya’s Apartment in 1999. The later was also published in both Hungary and Germany. In 2006 her third novel, The Shape I Gave You came out with Knopf Canada, and was a national bestseller.
In The Incident Report (2009), Baillie uses the format of 144 short reports to recount incidents from her own experiences as a librarian. As a work of fiction the novel contains conventional elements such as "a love story and a mystery"; as a report, it presents a subtext depicting "how Toronto libraries have become a refuge for the city's marginalized.
Martha has had poems published in journals including Descant, Prairie Fire and The Antigonish Review, and her non-fiction piece, The Legacy of Joseph Wagenbach was published by Brick magazine (Summer 2007). Baillie has been awarded grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council. She lives in Toronto with her daughter and husband.
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