“Michelle Berry’s Interference is an immaculately constructed page-turner that is also, miraculously, a redemptive meditation on loneliness and community. Read it for the beautiful writing, the cast of unique characters, and for a certain tender brutality that infuses the telling — by turns moving, darkly funny, and ultimately warm and illuminating.”
-Carrie Anne Snyder, author of Girl Runner
Life is full of little interferences. And some big ones.
On Edgewood Road the neighbours are interfering and being interfered with constantly. A strange little man carrying obscene pamphlets knocks at one woman’s door. Another man seems to stalk children in the schoolyard, or to tiptoe quietly through people’s back yards. A woman undergoes the final treatments for the breast cancer that has drastically interfered with her life – and her family’s life. Her husband mourns her even as she recovers. Another woman flees from her husband, baby in tow. The children on the street play their games, innocently but not naively. And a group of women play hockey late into the evenings, hoping the referee doesn’t call them out for Interference.
Interference is a story about neighbours and neighbourhoods. It is a story about families who bond together and families who separate. It is about children and spelling tests and women and guilt and pedophiles and cancer. In three seasons, lives change drastically. People come to realizations about themselves and about the world they live in. There is humour and pain, kindness and cruelty.
“Michelle Berry’s Interference is a literary hockey game, the lines of meaning on the fresh arena ice criss-crossing and accumulating as her characters deke out one another in their forward momentum. An unexpected kiss, the gift of an ugly hat, a grade-school assembly on sexual predation, a facially-deformed handyman, the loss of a child — Berry’s novel, told in her signature crystalline prose, asks us to pay attention to the moments that force us to recalibrate our game, in order to play fully awake.”
-Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, author of All the Broken Things
“Interference is a terrific page-turner, but it’s also a haunting, powerful look at the way families and friendships entangle us all. Berry is a sharp-eyed, engaging writer, and she deftly captures the terrors, ruptures and intimacies of one seemingly ordinary neighborhood, always finding a precarious beauty in her characters’ lives. This is a book that is terrifying, startling, and very hard to put down.”
“Berry successfully builds suspense.”
–Quill & Quire
ECW, Canada, Fall 2014