Author Tags: Fiction
Born in Saskatoon in 1974, Lee Henderson of Vancouver grew up in Saskatoon and Edmonton. He won the $5,000 Danuta Gleed Literary Award for his first collection of ten stories, The Broken Record Technique (Penguin, 2002).
Lee Henderson next won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and the City of Vancouver Book Award in 2009 for his first novel, The Man Game (Penguin $32), in which a present-day suburbia-bound narrator named Kat imagines a livelier period of Vancouver history, via archival research, when he uncovers a brutal combat game that originated from the aftermath of Vancouver’s Great Fire of 1886: A former vaudeville performer named Molly and her paralyzed ex-accountant husband, Samuel Erwagen, meet two lumberjacks accused of starting the blaze, Litz and Pisk, whereupon Molly, as an entrepreneur, invents an acrobatic, bare-knuckled sport more real than WWF. The Broken Record Technique was reprinted to coincide with the release of this novel.
Lee Henderson's second novel, The Road Narrows As You Go (Hamish Hamilton 2014), again makes a retrospective leap, this time to the 1980s in San Francisco where a young, would-be cartoon strip artist from Victoria, Wendy Ashbubble, makes good on her youthful desire to emulate her hero Charles Schultz who created Peanuts. While living in a dilapidated artists' commune, she encounters "all the brash optimism and ruthless amoralism of the decade" while harbouring the belief that her unidentified father could be none other than the 40th president of the United States, Ronald Reagan.
Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
The Man Game
The Broken Record Technique (Penguin, 2002). $18 9780143169628
The Man Game (Penguin 2008) $18 9780141005706
The Road Narrows As You Go (Hamish Hamilton 2014) $32.95 9780670069897
[BCBW 2014] "Fiction"
The Broken Record Technique (Penguin $22)
Henderson's stories are often about thirst for contact and emotional reciprocity amid fracture and discontent. In one of Henderson's short stories, Spines the Length of Velcro, pubescent boys in sumo wrestler costumes compete while their parents stake the odds. In The Runner, a man undertakes a marathon in memory of his dead lover. 0-14-100568-8
[Spring 2003 BCBW]