On Mon., Oct. 29, Poets on Campus will be hosting author Matthew Hooton for a reading and Q&A. Author of Deloume Road, Hooton holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Victoria and an MA from Bath Spa University in England. He has also written creative non-fiction for CBC, Geist, Reader’s Digest, and Monday Magazine.
VIU Creative Writing professor Marilyn Bowering has said, of Hooton’s first novel, “In a time where much fiction seems concerned to push the reader’s buttons in a fairly predictable way… Hooton’s tone immediately goes for something deeper— as if from the very first paragraphs the prose sets deep bells ringing.”
Hooton’s unique voice could also be related to his time spent abroad. After completing his MA, where Deloume Road was awarded the inaugural Greene & Heaton Prize for the best novel of the Bath Spa MA Creative Writing program, Hooton worked as an editor and teacher in several cities in South Korea. After years of working freelance, Hooton returned to Vancouver Island where he now teaches part-time at the University of Victoria.
Vancouver Island is also the setting of Deloume Road. The time period is the first Gulf War, and it reveals the intertwined lives of a small rural community. It celebrates the differences and connections between the Korean and English languages, between losing a loved one to war and pulling the trigger, and about summer along this country road. Unique choices in point of view and structure immediately grab the reader, and Hooton’s prose pulls you deeper.
International critics have praised this first novel, calling it a “delicate meditation on the cyclical nature of history, and the strength of communities” (The Observer, U.K.). And The Globe and Mail said: “Matthew Hooton’s risky first novel pays off…the risk-taking is refreshing…not only for creating a magnificent boy antihero, but for artfully sustaining a tale of misplaced honour and a resulting sorrow as old as the woods.”
Students with an interest in fiction, non-fiction, graduate studies, and all forms of creative writing, and anyone with an interest in portraits of local communities, will find something of interest in Hooton’s presentation.
The reading will be 5–6 p.m. on Mon., Oct. 29, and will be held in bldg. 365 (the cabin). Everyone is welcome. Snacks and drinks will be available.