A Whiter Shade of Pale/Becoming Emma

Cover image courtesy of
NeWest Press

A Whiter Shade of Pale/Becoming Emma

NeWest Press – 1992

Both George, the hero of the first novella and Emma, the protagonist of the second, are troubled by “a sense of encroaching age, of promises betrayed and opportunities lost.” Both are happily married, with children, yet they yearn for lives of greater meaning. George gets into a bar brawl, has a nose bleed that leads to hospitalization and some facial paralysis. Emma, who is both a desperate housewife and a thwarted artist, falls into an affair. The stories are familiar; the style and form unusual.

“The first is a humourous meditation on middle-aged marriage angst and the second ties Emma Bovary, Emma Woodhouse, art theory and Latvian history into the story of a woman floundering most entertainingly towards her destiny.”

– Geist

“Edwards’s craft and artistry are both obvious and subtle.”

– The Edmonton Journal

“Both novellas are rich with insight into modern life and the shadow world of loss and longing that guides it.”

– Victoria Times Colonist

“If Tom Robbins writes like Dolly Parton looks, it’s fair to say that Edwards writes like Julia Child cooks – combining fine ingredients, taking domesticity and raising it to its quintessence, through wit, intellect, art, and a powerful mastery of her medium.”

– Canadian Book Review Annual