Toronto writer achieves literary Nirvana
Part fan fiction, part literature and all rock ’n’ roll
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