Canadian Noir #4

To celebrate the release of The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir, your very humble guy-writing-this-right-now hereby presents a series of short, intensely sweet interviews with participating writers on their contributions to this already-classic anthology.

Entry the fourth: Chadwick Ginther and Keith Cadieux!

*NOTE* Ginther and Cadieux are teaming up, Justice League-style, for a joint reading in Winnipeg, alongside some other dude who shall remain me. Details on my Appearances page.


Chadwick GintherStory: “The Last Good Look” by Chadwick Ginther

Describe your story for the twitter: A retired troll prizefighter out to settle a debt for an old friend learns there’s always a bigger monster…

Now, as an episode of your favourite television series: Archer. Sterling Archer’s high school lacrosse coach asks him to lace up one last time to help bail him out of a mess with a very disagreeable woman from his past.

Boxing trollWhat does “noir” mean to you? Noir is that great thing that goes well with pretty much every genre that I care about: Crime, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror as well as succeeding across different media. Noir works as well in prose as it does in film or television. It’s artistic whiskey.

Tell us anything you’d like about your story. A lot of writers have mentors as the get started publishing. I was no different. But I think it’s safe to say I’d never have written this story without mine. I wrote the first four pages of “The Last Good Look” in August of 2011 when I was the Aqua Books Emerging Writer-in-Residence. I was working at the same desk that my late friend Michael Van Rooy had used during his own stint as Aqua’s WIR and I must have been thinking about him. The time had never felt quite right to come back to this story until David [Nickle] and Claude [Lalumière] put out the call for submissions to The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir. I’m glad they liked the story, because I sure had fun finishing it.

Chadwick Ginther is the author of the Thunder Road Trilogy as well as several short stories. He likes mythology and monsters (always) and Star Wars (usually).

Keith CadieuxStory: “Donner Parties” by Keith Cadieux

Describe your story for the twitter: The story follows Lewis Keseberg as he trains and prepares for an underground competition not for the faint of heart.

What does “noir” mean to you? For most people, noir seems to automatically mean crime fiction, but for me it is much more related to tone and aesthetic. There is an air of mystery, whether it’s the more traditional whodunnit or private eye investigation (my first introduction to noir was Calvin’s alter Tracer Bullet PIego Tracer Bullet in Watterson’s Calvin & Hobbes) or just a general sense of knowing that something darker is going on under the surface.

Tell us anything you’d like about your story: The idea for this one came to me at a burger joint. There were at least half a dozen TVs all tuned to a world eating competition. I watched while I ate, simultaneously chuckling and a little grossed out by the excess and absurdity and my thoughts grew darker and darker until I hit on the idea that would become the basis for this story.

Keith Cadieux’s novella Gaze was shortlisted for a 2010 Manitoba Book Award and his short fiction has most recently appeared in Grain magazine. He lives in Winnipeg.

The Exile Book of New Canadian NoirThe Exile Book of New Canadian Noir — available now at all fine bookstores, and probably a few of the less-reputable ones. Also available on the Internet, which is as disreputable as it gets.