Dennis Bock biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Dennis Bock

Dennis Bock

Dennis Bock Biography

Dennis Bock is a Canadian novelist from Belleville, Ontario. His first book of stories, Olympia, won the 1998 Canadian Authors’ Association Jubilee Award, the inaugural Danuta Gleed Award for best first collection of stories by a Canadian author and the British Betty Trask Award.

His first novel, The Ash Garden, was a #1 national bestseller and was shortlisted for the prestigious 2003 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Amazon.com/Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Kiriyama Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book (Caribbean and Canada Region). It won the Japan-Canada Literary Award.

The Communist's Daughter was published in 2006 in Canada, and 2007 in the USA.

He lives with his family in Toronto, Ontario.



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Interview

Bock answers questions about why he was drawn to write a novel about Hiroshima and its aftermath. He also discusses the research he conducted, his style of writing, and what he thinks is leading to the current resurgence of interest in the WWII period.

Q: What made you want to write a novel about Hiroshima and its aftermath?

A: As a reader I've always been drawn to the "Big Question" book. Philosophical, difficult, set in their particular time--the kind of book that isn't afraid to ask tough questions. In the same way I'm put off by books that pretend to answer the questions they raise. There can't be answers--not sincere or meaningful answers--to the questions raised in a great book.

For me a novel doesn't try to solve riddles, but instead simply lay them out, expose, or state those riddles in new, arresting, and entirely crucial ways. In raising those questions--by positioning your characters, building your setting and your drama--you approach the heart of what it is to be human. Cliche, I know, but what other reason could there be? Specifically, at this point in my life, I can't think of any one question more important, more interesting and terrifying than Hiroshima and its aftermath. Everything in that history fascinates me. And there will never be any complete and satisfying decision regarding the bomb's use. We will be asking questions about it for the next five-hundred years.

Q: What kind of research did you conduct while ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Dennis Bock at BookBrowse
Going Home Again jacket The Communist's Daughter jacket The Ash Garden jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Dennis Bock but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Carol Bergman

    Carol Bergman

    Carol Bergman's short stories and literary nonficiton have been published in Willow Review, Onion Review, A Room of One's Own, Absinthe Literary Review, The Bridge, Potpourri, Epiphany and many other publications in the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Communist's Daughter

    Try:
    Another Day In Paradise
    by Carol Bergman

  • Mischa Berlinski

    Mischa Berlinski

    Fieldwork is Mischa's first novel, it won him a $50,000 Whiting Award in 2008. Peacekeeping: A Novel was published in 2016.

    Mischa Berlinski was born in New York in 1973. He studied classics at the University of California... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Communist's Daughter

    Try:
    Fieldwork
    by Mischa Berlinski

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Book Discussion
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A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

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