Russian Dolls weaves in and out of the real and imaginary worlds of Wylie, a struggling author and self-proclaimed “unreliable narrator”, as he finds and then loses his muse, Christie, in their shared home - aptly named the “Breathing Castle” - in East Vancouver. Woven into the story of their relationship are Wylie’s short stories - at once bold, humorous, whimsical and reflective. The mood of the stories ranges from good to bad to worse, depending on his relationship with his muse at the time.
Meanwhile, the stories Christie chooses to tell Wylie about her past are consistently captivating, but are also dark and dangerously inconsistent. Are her stories true? Or is the enticing but erratic Christie simply the better storyteller of the two?
Kinsella remains as thought-provoking and engaging as ever. In Russian Dolls he creates a panorama of dozens of new characters, all struggling to survive at the fringes of modern life, while at the same time he creates an intimate portrait of a man, his typewriter, his lover and his passion.
W. P. “Bill” Kinsella is the award-winning writer of dozens of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry works, including Shoeless Joe (which was made into the feature film Field of Dreams). Kinsella won the Leacock Award in 1987 and in 1993 was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2005, he was awarded the Order of British Columbia, and in 2009, he was awarded the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award. He died on September 16, 2016.