Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 05.28.10
Stanstead, Quebec


Scandals of the literary kind

News item: Children's author Robert Munsch reveals cocaine use, alcohol addiction. "My children love his books, it will break my heart to tell them the truth but as their mother I have to. Our family will not idolize those who do bad things. The press makes stars out to be 'gods' after they overdose on drugs or cheat on their wives, but we will not!" - Sara Landriault, president of the International Family Childcare Association

In this issue of WRITER'S BLOCK: The Magazine of Literary Gossip

The English Impatient
Michael Ondaatje's cafe-clearing tantrum in Montreal
A witness tells WRITER'S BLOCKthat the award-winning writer became miffed when an exclusive St-Laurent bistro failed to honour his reservation time. Matters escalated when the serving staff couldn't properly pronounce his name. Mr. Ondaatje became verbally abusive after the maître-d' tried to assuage the author by informing him that Life of Pi was one of his favourite books. "This is why I should never leave Toronto!" shrieked the wrathful writer.

Holdin' Caulfield
J.D. Salinger's last wish: "Let me out of here

Noted "reclusive" author, the late J.D. Salinger, didn't get out much, it's true. But a former chef to the Catcher in the Rye author reveals exclusively to WRITER'S BLOCKthat Salinger was held against his will in his New Hampshire home.

"Mr. Salinger was monitored around the clock by a rotating team of interns from The New Yorker," says chef Boris Chestnut, whose upcoming book Ketchup in the Rye will be published in August. "It was a plot by his publisher to keep the cult of Mr. Salinger alive so that people would keep reading that nasty little book over and over."

According to Mr. Chestnut, the seldom-seen Salinger longed to experience the pleasures of modern life but was restrained from doing so. "One of the last things he told me was that he really, really wanted to roller-disco," says Mr. Chestnut. "As I said, he hadn't been out for quite some time."

Trouble on the set of "America's Next Top Poet"
According to a staffer on the hit reality show (Monday nights on LIT-TV), dub poet Lavonda James is refusing to co-write with preternaturally petulant partner Saschssha Emo because the latter has locked herself in a small storage hutch and will communicate only with words containing the letter C.

"Saschssha's calling it 'conceptual communication,'" said the staffer, "but Lavonda's calling it 'crazy cockamamie crap.'

Lavonda and Saschssha had been favoured to win the competition after their rousing blank verse tour-de-force entitled "Beef Flap Sonata (with Communism on the Side)." But with the couplet's verses now turning to curses, it looks like the team to watch may be nouveau-beat poet Bongos Malloy and 7-year-old limerick sensation Naomi Nantucket.

"Naomi really puts the 'try' in 'poetry,'" said the staffer.

Look Reviews: Bestselling Beach Bods 2010!
The sun also rises on these bards of the beach and scribblers of the sea. But who has the best bookends and who should maybe lose the book flaps? Buff biographers, saggy scribes and pert poets aplenty. Photo exclusives: Stephen King in a thong! Maya Angelou in a diphthong! Plus: Which author best pulls off the sweatpants-sandals-socks combo best? Find out inside!

Charlotte's Web of Lies
Historian Arthur Frondgrass reveals the secret life of Charlotte Brontë: the brawling, the binge drinking, the secret affairs, the cow-tipping and much, much moor. Exclusive excerpt from his book Jane Err.

Generation XXX
Angelina Jolie carrying Douglas Coupland's baby! Or is she? Fiction or non-fiction? Or perhaps some sort of meta-fiction wherein telling the story about the story of the bastard child is in itself a construct around which we unwittingly reveal our prejudices about fame and celebrity, not to mention where we place literature and art within our cultural values. Plus, Jennifer Anniston runs back into Brad Pitt's arms at the news.