JARMAN, Mark




Author Tags: Alcohol, Fiction

Jarman is a remarkable stylist whose work impresses critics and other writers. "I just like fooling around with sentences and making them move, seeing how long you can go," he said in 1997. "I wouldn't want to take it as far as William Faulkner or Virginia Woolf, but I really liked Jack Kerouac and he always had that kind of energy and movement in his work."

In his often brilliant novel Salvage King, Ya!, a protagonist named Drinkwater, an almost-got-to-the-NHL type, struggles to come to terms with the aspirations of his youth and the reality of inheriting the family junkyard. The anti-hero juggles the influences of a fiance, an ex-wife and Waitress X. The novel is subtitled A Herky-Jerky Picaresque. Jarman has written a travel book on exploring Ireland and gathered a collection of stories illustrating the power of alcohol in our lives, Ounces of Cure, which includes contributions by Alice Munro (The title story) and B.C. writers Jack Hodgins, J.B. Joe and Bill Valgardson.

Born in Edmonton on June 11, 1955, Jarman graduated from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Winner of a Playwrights Union $1000 International Monologue Competition, he has taught writing at the University of Victoria. “I am bearded and middle-aged,” he says. “Guess I won’t make the cover of B.C. BookWorld or Rolling Stone.” In 2000 Jarman left B.C. to teach at the University of New Brunswick. In 2007, his short story "Night March in the Territory" was awarded the Jack Hodgins Founders' Award for Fiction from the Malahat Review. It provides $1000 to the author of the best short story or novella to have appeared in the magazine’s quarterly issues during the previous calendar year.

Books

Dancing Nightly in the Tavern, stories (Porcepic, 1984)
Killing the Swan, poetry (Porcepic, 1986)
Ounce of Cure, anthology (Beach Holme, 1992)
Salvage King Ya!, novel (Anvil, 1997)
New Orleans is Sinking, stories (Oberon, 1988)
19 Knives, stories (Anansi, 2000)
Ireland's Eye: Travels (Anansi, 2002)
My White Planet (Thomas Allen, 2008)

[BCBW 2008]