Toronto writer achieves lit­er­ary Nir­vana

Part fan fic­tion, part lit­er­a­ture and all rock ’n’ roll

Thornhill Post - - Books - by Jen Kirsch

Poet. Vis­ual art teacher at the AGO and U of T. Lo­cal art sup­porter and col­lec­tor. Avid reader. Au­thor. Kurt Cobain en­thu­si­ast. Th­ese are just a few ti­tles one could use to de­scribe Toronto au­thor Lynn Cros­bie.

But she is also bril­liant, in­tense and pas­sion­ate, a point made known al­most im­me­di­ately when you have a con­ver­sa­tion with her or when you read the first page of her lat­est novel, Where

Did You Sleep Last Night?

The book’s ti­tle is af­ter a lyric in a Nir­vana cover song.

“There is that mo­ment in the Un­plugged record­ing, when he closes, then opens his eyes and howls at the very end of the song, and it is this an­guish, this wild de­sire that I wanted to try to use, to cap­ture while writ­ing my two leads,” she ex­plains.

“It’s not pos­si­ble to do! But the song and how he looks singing it are the ghost of the book.”

The plot deals with a teenager who is in an in­tense and drug-fu­elled ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship with Cobain.

Cros­bie de­scribes it as “haute fan fic­tion, mean­ing it is lit­er­ary, with the blood and guts of the in­nu­mer­able de­sir­ing fan fics out there.”

So why Cobain? And why now? Though she ad­mits she was orig­i­nally go­ing to write a young adult book about a girl who wanted to solve the mys­tery of the last two days of Kurt’s life, the book took on a life of its own.

“If you’re over­come with pow­er­ful emo­tion and you need to do some­thing about it — I revel in my pas­sion and sad­ness for him — I move it to the page.”

Her book, ded­i­cated to her fa­ther, who lives in Mon­treal, and her dog, will be cel­e­brated at one of her favourite haunts in the city’s west end, Cadil­lac Lounge, on May 4.

She’ll be do­ing a read­ing in the space that she plans to de­sign to look like Court­ney Love’s bed­room.

Cur­rently, she’s work­ing on a book of po­etry called The Corpses of the Fu­ture, about her fa­ther who is suf­fer­ing from de­men­tia, us­ing her words and story to raise aware­ness about the ill­ness.

Where Did You Sleep Last Night? comes out around the time of the much chat­tered about doc­u­men­tary Kurt

Cobain: Mon­tage of Heck.

And if you want to get your hands on a copy, we sug­gest hit­ting up Type on Queen West on May 2.

Cros­bie will be work­ing at the store for a few hours as part of Canadian Au­thors for Indies Day, which shows sup­port and love for in­de­pen­dent book­stores.

Lynn Cros­bie ded­i­cated her lat­est book to her dad and her dog

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