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But there are second acts in CanLit

In a review of second books for The Globe and Mail (August 26, 2006), journalist, poet and critic Tom Sandborn had this to say:

ManBug, by George K. Ilsley and So It Won't Go Away, by John Lent, go even further than Sosi toward providing the astringent, unsentimental comfort that can only be had from genuine, serious works of art. These two novels, both by B.C. writers (Ilsley is based in Vancouver, Lent in Vernon), are works of sophisticated intelligences grappling with the world's big, refractory mysteries. Beyond the qualities of intelligence and narrative confidence that they share, however, these are very different works indeed.
ManBug is an elegantly accomplished postmodern love story between Sebastian, a gay entomologist with Asperger's syndrome (a high-functioning form of autism) and Tom, a dyslexic bisexual with spiritual interests that stem from his childhood in a hippy commune. Admittedly, this sounds more like program notes for an Oprah show than content for a serious novel, but this is a book that works impressively on many levels, and delivers keen intellectual and aesthetic pleasures. The deadpan, minimalist prose is deployed to create unforgettable characters and a compelling, dreamlike tone. The sex scenes, so often the weakest element in prose fiction, manage to evoke the compelling complexity and subtle heat of the flesh in fresh and evocative fashion.
Unlike gay writers of the last generation, whose fiction tended to revolve tightly around coming out and AIDS narratives, Ilsley and his contemporaries can create stories in which gay identity and sexuality are part of the story's context, not its central drama or problem. The results, in the hands of an accomplished writer like Ilsley, are impressive. ManBug is not just a triumph over the second-book curse; it serves notice its author is going to be around for the long haul. Ilsley has important things to tell us all.