Announcing Vincent Ternida's 'The Seven Muses of Harry Salcedo"
Over the last few months, I've had the pleasure of working with Vincent Ternida on his debut novel, The Seven Muses of Harry Salcedo, published by Ricepaper under the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop. As the lead editor on the project, it has taken several months of back-and-forth rewrites, suggestions, edits, and even a beta-reading phase before arriving at the completed novel. Harry, the philandering Vancouverite with a caffeine fix is struggling to work on his novel while debating on whether or not to quit the West Coast for an even more uncertain life in Toronto.
I became attached to this project because of Vincent’s writing style—I’d edited a couple of his articles for Ricepaper, one of which eventually found its way into the novel. I kept seeing shades of stories and films that I enjoyed being resonated in the plot and themes of the story; examples include Terry Woo’s Banana Boys, Haruki Murakami’s various books, and Federico Fellini’s 8 ½. But The Seven Muses manages to be something different by the time we reach the end of the story. It has been fascinating seeing the story take shape and watching Harry and company undergo various changes, morphing from one iteration to another, but the one constant was the uncertainty of life in, as Douglas Coupland calls it, the City of Glass. Vancouver is a jumping-off point to exploring the tangled ends of life in what should be a perfect place to live in, and in fact it is also a city where many people arrive to start anew, leaving old lives elsewhere. But the fact remains that it is impossible to run from the past and that it soon catches up, meaning that eventually even the welcoming façade of the Lower Mainland has to give way to something deeper and more meaningful. I hope that readers enjoy this book as much as I did.
The novel is set to launch at the LiterASIAN festival in Vancouver this September. Attend any of these events to learn more about this novel and diasporic writing. More news to come soon!
Cover art by Stephanie Quesada
Layout design by Keyan Zhang