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R e v i e w s

What We Both Know

“Writing out Baby’s storied life (Parker features a few chapters of the memoir-in-the-making) and summoning hazy, distressing memories of the past, Hillary captivates as an individual with a poignant vulnerability and a sure capability that’s eroded by self-doubt and an overwhelming past. She’s Parker’s terrific invention, of course, and her agonies—as well as her wit and her wild missteps — offer testimony to Toronto’s Parker (author, previously, of Dumb-Show), whose stylish and expressive writing anatomizes complex familial relationships and the sheer difficulty of finding correct courses of action.”—Toronto Star

“A master of indirection, Parker wants to demonstrate how language expresses trauma, but also the ways words are used to avoid or disguise pain. Parker is a poet, and her precision of language yields visceral, difficult insights.”—Winnipeg Free Press


"But Dumb-Show – on its own, and especially in combination with What We Both Know – succeeds as an excoriating critique of a culture deformed by the veneration of a particular kind of grandiose masculinity. Jonathan Franzen and David Foster Wallace are easy targets, and Parker takes aim at both, but she also provides a more nuanced, unexpected examination of thorny social issues that are ripe for this kind of provocative and confrontational approach."—Steven Beattie, That Shakespearean Rag


"Fawn Parker's recent novel, Set-Point blew me away. Parker's sensibility is contemporary, smart and funny; fans of auto-fiction by international writers like Ben Lerner or Elif Batuman will love her"—Joan Thomas, winner of the 2019 Governor General's Award for Fiction for Five Wives

"Parker’s talent makes writing a novel look easy – Lucy’s daily drags around Montreal are an elaborate, entertaining, ironic simulation on par with Seingård or the sexual labour she’s selling – but Set-Point aspires to more than effortless neutrality. In risking sentiment, it succeeds."—Paige Cooper, Author of Zolitude

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