bernicefriesen@bernicefriesen.com

BERNICE FRIESEN

Writer     Editor    Visual Artist


"It's said of some novels that they beg to be filmed. The pictures Friesen makes are a cinematographer's dream..."    Jim Bartley, Toronto Globe and Mail


Universal Disorder, Reviewed in the Vancouver Sun:

a "work of glittering brilliance and heart scalding grief"

"richly complex and moving"

"make no mistake, while Friesen is working with profoundly tragic elements of human experience here — guilt, loss, madness and dread — she always gets the joke."

"This is a remarkably well crafted and moving novel. Highly recommended."

-Tom Sandborn, Vancouver Sun. Read the whole review here.



Universal Disorder

Prologue

324-7749.

What a thing to appear on his call display: a ghost calling.

"Nine," he says, as if he's able to stand behind her in the street and whisper her names: Seraphina--little angel--Jae. As if he could reach out and smooth his thumb up through her hair, the soft crewcut revealing the blue fleur-de-lys tattooed on the back of her scalp.

Imagine the system that gave it to her without knowing how exquisite it was; the first three digits add up to 9; the last four to 27, and two plus seven is 9, so the whole number is divisible by 9.

Nine is so beautiful, so neatly three 3s, the first truly odd number, the first oddity other than one... I... me, myself, that self-obsessed simpleton.

But it can't be. She must have given up that number shortly after he measured the space-time between his skin and hers, and found the distance unbearable.

Ten years ago calling. Really?

How old is he?

He walks to the bathroom, and lifts his heavy gaze to the mirror as if he's moving through water. Only the eyes are familiar, a blue of too much depth, staring through a nebulous tangle of hair. The stranger in the mirror lifts his hands; it's terrifying to feel those hands on his face.

He is the ghost--the shattered one--these eyes, these hands, these feet that managed to stumble out of the psyche ward.

Ten years ago, when he lost her, he lost himself.

Brought to you by McNally Robinson Booksellers and Freehand books...

UNIVERSAL DISORDER

by Bernice Friesen

World-wide web book launch and interview
via Zoom and YouTube, October 27, 2020
with special guest, the fabulous Kim June Johnson!

Revisionary: An Exhibition Blog: Sewing? What Sewing?

I haven’t been concerning myself with wearable art much since the beginning of the pandemic. In fact, I haven’t been concerning myself much with what I wear at all, unless it’s to make sure I’m wearing wrecked clothes that are covered in paint, so it doesn’t matter if I wreck them and cover them with paint. I haven’t been hitting the secondhand stores much, unless it’s the Re-Store, and I’ve been more interested in rocks and beach logs.

Once sawdust season came around I was back outside building things and moving dirt around again, but I’m posting about one of last summer’s projects which I’d been thinking of for about a decade, ever since Helen Onorah’s cast-iron stand from an old Singer sewing machine took a detour from the Hornby Island Recycling Depot to wait in limbo to become my patio table.

I finally got it done, just for the cost of the paint, the bolts, and a visit to the Courtney scrap yard for a $15 dollar sign. I wire-brushed it first, and painted the bolts also, and if I cover it up with one of my mother or grandmother’s crochet cloths, it looks fancy indeed, but I kind of like the steam punk version myself.

And then you can see not to put your kale smoothie on one of the red bolts and upset it on your fancy white linen dress.

Or I can keep from spilling my coffee on my army boots.

*

See my Reading and Interview with Portal Magazine's Joe Enns here on Youtube: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yOOylrB7ls&t=214s


enjoy some older

Readings and Interviews