April 2013 Book Pick: Born Weird by Andrew Kaufman

bornweirdThanks for listening to our last podcast – hope you enjoyed our first guest star! We had so much fun that we’re busy trying to book others now.

We are excited to announce our next book pick: Born Weird by Andrew Kaufman! We expect a few laughs from this book that is on the 2013 shortlist for the Leacock Memorial Award for Canadian humour writing. It’s the story of the quest of the Weird family to lift the family curse and it seems, right off the bat, to fit into a lot of categories (humour, speculative fiction, drama) and it makes you wonder about what shelf you might put this book on in a library or bookstore. I (Tania) think that, aside from discussing the book itself, this pick might allow us to discuss some issues of genre and marketing.

From the book jacket:
The Weirds have always been a little off, but not one of them ever suspected that they’d been cursed by their grandmother.

At the moment of the births of her five grandchildren Annie Weird gave each one a special power. Richard, the oldest, always keeps safe; Abba always has hope; Lucy is never lost and Kent can beat anyone in a fight. As for Angie, she always forgives, instantly. But over the years these so-called blessings ended up ruining their lives.

Now Annie is dying and she has one last task for Angie: gather her far-flung brothers and sisters and assemble them in her grandmother’s hospital room so that at the moment of her death, she can lift these blessings-turned-curses. And Angie has just two weeks to do it.

What follows is a quest like no other, tearing up highways and racing through airports, from a sketchy Winnipeg nursing home to the small island kingdom of Upliffta, from the family’s crumbling ancestral Toronto mansion to a motel called Love. And there is also the search for the answer to the greatest family mystery of all: what really happened to their father, whose maroon Maserati was fished out of a lake so many years ago?

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