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EXCERPTS & ESSAYS

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/9/2011

Excerpts from Adam Gilders' Another Ventriloquist

Born in Ottawa, Ontario in 1970, the rising young writer Adam Gilders died in 2007 of a brain tumor. Below are a selection of excerpted stories from his excellent new collection, Another Ventriloquist, published by J&L Books.
GAINING WEIGHT
As soon as my husband started gaining weight I knew it would be a one-way street and that he would just keep getting fatter and fatter, so I had to make a decision either to leave him or to stay with him to the end. Last week I ran into him at the grocery store near our old house and, sure enough, he was obese.

LIBRARIAN
Due to the especially delicate and sensitive nature of my concerns, I requested a private interview with the librarian. The moment I entered her office I saw she was entirely too callous to appreciate or respond to my actual concerns, so I distracted her with ordinary observations on the general hygiene and appointment of the library, whereupon she violently accused me of wasting her time, which was really too much to bear, since it was actually she who was wasting my time.

Another Ventriloquist
HOT DATA
I don't think it is going to work out with my new psychiatrist, Dr. Garden. I found Dr. Garden through my family doctor about a month after my previous psychiatrist, Dr. Jane Prawn, ended my psychiatric treatment, claiming that I was sabotaging the therapeutic process. My incapacity to free-associate, Dr. Prawn had decided, was not a real, but an invented incapacity, a feigned incapacity. When I asked her why I would come to her office each week, sometimes twice a week, merely to sabotage my psychiatric treatment, she was nonplussed. She shifted from one bony buttock to the other in her overstuffed and slightly grimy white chair like a trained monkey, resting between performances. Her eyes assumed the morbid glimmer of fish eyes. It was over. She would not answer.

Another Ventriloquist
STYLE OF DRESS
At the clinic there is a three stage program designed to familiarize patients with prevailing social models. This program includes, where necessary, changes to the patient's style of dress and physical presentation. Despite the program's many benefits, I am not going to change my style of dress.

Another Ventriloquist
PRIVATE ACHIEVEVMENTS
My father's athleticism was seldom acknowledged or celebrated in the public environments which enshrined private achievements. Occasionally, however, his physical fitness garnered private benefits and private, almost intimate, recognition, which he sought to publicize in conversation, knowing that no one else would.

Another Ventriloquist
Another Ventriloquist
Another Ventriloquist
Another Ventriloquist

Another Ventriloquist

Another Ventriloquist

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