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Kensington and Chelsea-20140729-01373Don’t we all love quotations? A thought seems to sound better in the words of a professional. Apart from sticking one into a speech, we can’t just type up a quotation for all the world to admire. It has to be relevant to the text in which it appears, and support an argument or thesis or theme. If I were a funded magazine editor with a layout or design person working with me, I would have put a quotation from each book reviewed on CWA — beside the review. So I’ve decided to put one after. And tell you how it contributes to one of the several themes of the overall project of Canadian Writers Abroad.

This quotation from Audrey Thomas’s novel Local Customs is about the isolation that a writer abroad might experience. Here is Letty, soon after her arrival in Ghana:

For the first several days, except for nursing George and the awkward visit from the Governor of Elmina Castle, I lived in almost complete seclusion, but I had great resources in my writing (which I did for a few hours every day while my husband slept) and I remained quite well. I did miss flattery (I’ve never pretended I wasn’t vain) but even more I missed talking about ideas and books. (p. 98)