Catherine Bush

October 3, 2013


There’s such pleasure in having a beautiful book: cover, paper, font, all these things matter. And Goose Lane has made Accusation a very beautiful book. I have to call attention to these endpapers. Open the book and you discover these. There’s a juggler in the novel and it’s as if the papers bring his juggling to life. They’re almost like a circus.


October 1, 2013


The night before I had to give my first reading from Accusation, the book newly in my hands, I had a dream in which I was walking naked through the streetscape of my adolescence. The dream itself felt clear in its self-revelation. Bringing a novel to the world is pleasurable — and yet also, oddly, shameful. There’s an inevitable vulnerability in the risk of self-exposure, or in the risky self-exposure. Humiliation rises among a sea of other emotions. We don’t talk much about the place of shame in publication but I’d wager most writers touch it to some degree. We long to disown what we’ve written, to cast it off in case it embarrasses us, or because it embarrasses us, because we’ve put everything of ourselves into it and that’s embarrassing, because the disowning is necessary in order to move on. We don’t know what we’ve done. We don’t know how to think or speak about what we’ve done. Writer Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer has written a paper about it — well, about the relationship between publishing and shitting, and the weird commingling of pleasure and shame as something … comes out of us. After having been turned so far inward, it’s strange to face outward. All our actions on the page become visible. Moments before, in the same dream, I was clambering over a ladder stretched across the depths of a vast, dilapidated building, trying to navigate a tricky journey. No more disappearing into the text, it’s time to slip on a vulnerable body and hit the streets, the book itself a form of nakedness whatever I’m wearing.


September 29, 2013

NOW review of Accusation

The day before the launch it was lovely to wake up to word of this review by Susan G. Cole, which deftly summarizes the emotional and ethical quandaries of the novel, and notes that while documenting events can be a form of witnessing, it can lead to its own dilemmas, particularly for journalists. As another reader said to me recently, this is not only a novel about accusations but about trying to do the right thing.


September 29, 2013

Talking about Accusations

Love and Accusation Launch: September 17, 2013. I know the room was packed to the rafters. That Douglas Glover gave a lesson about aphorisms and spoke about Savage Love. That the Accusation Chorale went off without a hitch, thanks to Becky Blake, Darren Hynes, Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, Leanne Milech and Shyam Selvadurai, who proved a remarkable spoken-word chorus. Some of the MFA crew were quoting lines from the Chorale to me over a week later, such as, “To say, I am innocent, invites people to imagine the opposite.” So it must have made an impression. Mike Hoolboom’s achingly beautiful trailer for the novel looked even more beautiful projected on the big screen.That I didn’t even set eyes on everyone who came out. That I signed a lot of books. But I’ll leave it to Susan Swan to give her description of the evening.

“Last night I heard fiction writer Catherine Bush talk about her new novel, Accusation, at her book launch. I was hypnotized. Why? A few weeks ago I was falsely accused by somebody very close to me and I felt struck through the heart. Bush says there is no return to the state of being unaccused. The accusation lives on inside you even though you know it is untrue. This is how I felt. Bush has put her novelist’s finger on something difficult and important. Can’t wait to read her new book. When were you falsely accused and did you secretly believe the accuser? I know I did even though I knew his accusation was wrong. How can you convincingly speak up for yourself in the negative, Bush asks. She says the accusation renders you as helpless as a child.”

Talking about accusations

Talking about accusations with Mark Medley of the National Post

September 2, 2013

Accusation/Labour Day/Air Show

My new novel Accusation opens on a hot and humid Labour Day in Toronto in the midst of the air show. I can’t help thinking about that today (humid Labour Day Monday, the window-rattling, heart-seizing Air Show on its way). Here’s the opening to whet your appetite:

She pushed her chair back from the desk as the awful word on the screen entered her, and the name of the man linked to the word.

Mid-afternoon on Labour Day Monday: heat filled the room, the upper floor of her house, the streets of Toronto, the air above them, and more sweat pooled under her arms and at her throat and across her chest, as she stood, trying to calm the blood speeding through her veins. Outside, when she paced to the window, beyond the Norway maple, a car passed and with it the ordinary mystery of strangers going somewhere. The cry of a cicada soared, and out of the stillness, a jet fighter, part of the holiday weekend air show, roared into tumult, shaking the walls and window glass.


Accusation‘s pub date is coming soon: September 17 from Goose Lane Editions.

September 1, 2013

Accusation Book Trailer

Here’s the beautiful book trailer made for Accusation by filmmaker Mike Hoolboom.

Featuring the amazing cast of Elena Bush Anderson, Sophia Bush Anderson, and Stephen Anderson.

August 23, 2013

The Accusation Project

In the lead-up to the publication of my novel, Accusation, I’ve been gathering stories for something I’m calling The Accusation Project. I’m not sure exactly what form it will take but I hope to share some of these stories. I’m interested in stories of being accused or falsely accused or making an accusation against someone – not necessarily in the legal system. Accusations small or large. I’m interested both in what happened and what the experience felt like. If you have a story that you’d like to share in a short paragraph or so, please get in touch with me at The stories will be kept anonymous. Stay tuned for more about The Accusation Project.

August 4, 2013



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“Fairy tales are almost always the stories of the powerless, of youngest sons, abandoned children, orphans.... Fairy tales are children's stories not in who they were made for but in their focus on the early stages of life, when others have power over you and you have power over no one.”

— Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby