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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A Conversation with Dennis Bock, author of The Ash Garden
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-...
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