Picture of author.

Suzette Mayr

Autor(a) de The Sleeping Car Porter

6+ Works 428 Membros 24 Críticas

About the Author

Image credit: University of Calgary

Obras por Suzette Mayr

The Sleeping Car Porter (2022) 228 exemplares
Monoceros (2011) 81 exemplares
The Widows (1998) 30 exemplares
Venous Hum (2005) 29 exemplares
Moon Honey (1995) 16 exemplares

Associated Works

So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy (2004) — Contribuidor — 294 exemplares

Etiquetado

Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
1967
Sexo
female
Nacionalidade
Canada
Local de nascimento
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Locais de residência
Alberta, Canada
Ocupações
English professor, University of Calgary

Membros

Críticas

A sympathetic account of a young man (Baxter, but commonly known by the passengers as George) working as a porter on a long distance train speeding between America and Canada. He's desperately saving enough funds to enable him to fulfil his dream and enrol as a dentistry student. And he's invisible. Because he's black. Another part of him is more invisible still: he's gay, and jail is the least of his worries if that's discovered. The unremitting boredom and drudgery of this job, with its terrible sleep deprivation; the thoughtlessness of most of the passengers; the horror of everyone when the train is long-delayed by problems on the line ahead; Baxter's fear of earning de-merits or even sacking for minor mistakes or even of being discovered as queer- all these are so well described and I too endured the tediousness of the voyage. The trouble was, I was a little bored too, despite the involving attention to historical detail. I was glad the book was rather short.… (mais)
 
Assinalado
Margaret09 | 16 outras críticas | Apr 15, 2024 |
My Name's Not George*
Review of the Coach House Books paperback (September 27, 2022) with reference to the Kindle eBook.

I missed reading The Sleeping Car Porter when it won the 2022 Giller Prize in Canada, but finally caught up to it through the Amnesty International Canada Book Club which featured it as its January/February 2024 selection, along with an author interview discussion.

The entire history of the luxury Pullman coaches on long distance trains in the USA and Canada and their intentional hiring of Black Americans and Canadians as porters to simulate the slavery / working class of the antebellum Southern USA was a shocking revelation about a subject of which I had previously known nothing. The amount of research done by Suzette Mayr was quite staggering and she has described it at length in her interviews about the book and in the reference material listed in its appendices.

Her story of Baxter, a Black Canadian porter serving on a Canadian cross-country rail journey brings all of this history to light as the man struggles with unruly demanding passengers, uncooperative fellow train employees, and his own closeted sexual urges. Baxter hopes to earn enough money to go to dentistry school and as he gets closer to his financial goal he is also beset by a more ominous target whereby his railroad employee demerits are nearing the point of employment dismissal. The dueling goal and target play out suspensefully throughout this compelling novel.

Footnote
I took the idea for the lede from the book title of My name's not George: The story of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters : personal reminiscences of Stanley G. Grizzle (1998). Passengers would regularly use the generic name "George" (taken from the first name of the inventor of Pullman railroad cars) to address porters in order to avoid having to learn their actual names.

Trivia and Link
The online Giller Book Club featured an interview discussion with the author and you can watch the recorded zoom meeting here.

The Sleeping Car Porter was also featured as part of the 2024 Amnesty International Canada Book Club and you can read further about that and download a discussion guide here. The zoom meeting does not appear to have been recorded for archival viewing.

You can view a short documentary about the history of Pullman car porters on YouTube here.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
alanteder | 16 outras críticas | Mar 7, 2024 |
Hannelore, Clothilde and Frau Schnadelhuber are three seniors living in Edmonton. They feel increasingly marginalized in a society that values youth and renders older women largely invisible. What would you do in that case? Well, Hannelore convinces the others to steel a space-age barrel and ride it over Niagara Falls. Her 26-year-old granddaughter agrees to help them and the four head off driving from Edmonton to the Falls. The book begins with them getting into the barrel and is told through flashbacks -- some decades ago, others more recent -- that enable us to get to know they women and understand why going over the falls became their best option.

This is a great story of female friendship, of women supporting each other, even when they don't necessarily agree with each other. It's a tribute to what older people have to contribute to our society. A great read; poignant and often hilarious.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
LynnB | Dec 21, 2023 |
This story was meh, I found the story line to be slow at times and I would start to lose interest. I like the premise of the book but my brain also gets distracted easily, so I need more from a story.
 
Assinalado
Shauna_Morrison | 16 outras críticas | Dec 20, 2023 |

Listas

Prémios

You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Estatísticas

Obras
6
Also by
1
Membros
428
Popularidade
#57,056
Avaliação
½ 3.7
Críticas
24
ISBN
23
Línguas
2

Tabelas & Gráficos