Tuesday 21 July 2020

"Fair" by Ed Seaward

Today, I finished reading Fair, the debut novel from author Ed Seaward.

In this spare, poetic novel, a young homeless man finds solace in friendship, falls prey to the machinations of a malevolent gang of thugs, and ultimately is swallowed up by the inevitability of consequences on the dangerous and deceptively sunny streets of L.A.

This is the story about a homeless young man, Eyan (pronounced Ian) who lives in the parks and alleys of Los Angeles. He has a learning disability and as a result is uneducated. His story is one of survival. Happy to live on his own, he has a chance meeting with a childhood friend Marc who takes him to meet a man simply called the professor, who once taught at the University of Chicago.

The professor enjoys teaching Eyan and telling him stories. Eyan's favorite is Paradise Lost written by John Milton in 1667. Seaward has included seven etchings of various scenes from that story which were created by William Strang and included in a 1896 copy of the book published in London. At the end of the book, Seaward explains the reason for their inclusion in this novel: They are presented herein to enrich the reading experience and to invite readers to engage with the story through a different means of artistic interpretation.

Fair is a literary work, descriptive and gritty which gives allows the reader to get inside Eyan's head. It's a different style of story that I usually am drawn to and I'm glad I read it.

Ed Seaward completed his first novel, Son of Jack Nasty, in 2011 (as yet unpublished). Since then he has written a number of short stories and screenplays, including Mother Daughter Happiness, which was a screenplay finalist at the 2019 Pasadena International Film Festival. Fair will be published by The Porcupine’s Quill in April, 2020. After thirty years in the corporate world, he now spends his time cashing pension cheques, writing, and volunteering with Canadian Authors—Toronto. He and his wife Barb split their time living in Georgetown, Ontario and Santa Monica, California.

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