“Terpstra offers no facile answers, but in his scrupulous description of the workings of the household, one that revolves around the constant care and comfort of the three boys in wheelchairs, he challenges our habitual ways of viewing terminal disease…. ‘It’s better this way’ is the predictable refrain, but now Terpstra has succeeded in making us feel the speciousness of the words. We have grown attached to the boys, (who are genuinely funny), and the sorrow of their passing is forcefully evoked.” Erik Rutherford, Quill & Quire
“…as much as anything, the book is what all writing that rises to the call of literature is a sputtering, soaring, aching, confused and triumphant attempt to understand the operating instructions on how to be a human being.” Jeff Mahoney, The Hamilton Spectator
“…Terpstra creates a terse, tense, touching compression very much the way he sees the brothers turning events over and over again in their conversation, like jewels. ‘The cut is always the same but the light it refracts may change.’” Keith Garebian, Globe & Mail
About the Author
John Terpstra has published many books and chapbooks of poetry, the most recent of which, Disarmament, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award in 2004. A retrospective of his work, Two or Three Guitars: Selected Poems, was published in 2006. Terpstra has also published three prose projects: Falling Into Place, a creative investigation of a giant glacial sandbar which lies beneath one of Canada’s busiest transportation corridors; The Boys, or, Waiting for the Electrician’s Daughter, the story of his wife’s three brothers, who lived with muscular dystrophy until their early twenties; and Skin Boat: Acts of Faith and Other Navigations, a frank reflection on faith and church in a secular era. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario.