The Bubble Star by Lesley-Anne Bourne  

The characters, setting and atmosphere of The Bubble Star are both rural (northern Ontario) and urban (Toronto). The novel focuses primarily on women -- three sisters -- and their relationships with each other and with men. We have marriage, we have affairs, we have a bit of sex, including a scene in an upscale bamboo furniture boutique. One of the secondary characters is a gay male. A lesbian couple appears, and one of the women is married to a professor who is having an affair with one of the sisters working in retail.

When asked by Dale Zieroth (editor of Event magazine) what she feared most about the publication of The Bubble Star, Lesley replied, ‘That people will read it and think it’s a sitcom.’ When Zieroth asked her what she hoped for the most from this novel, she answered ‘That people will read it and think it’s a sitcom.’ Bourne goes on to say that she expects her audience will be anyone who reads The New Yorker, anyone who works in retail (because the novel has central characters who work in retail), or anyone who watches the Shopping Channel.

Review quote

‘This is a clear and intelligent voice whose economy and intelligence of imagery is not minimalist but, rather, efficient, like the movements of ballet dancers when they need to make an emotional point.’

—Sharon Thesen, Canadian Literature

Review quote

‘The stories’ slender plots pivot on overtly familiar situations. Yet the sisters and their stories are anything but commonplace. With tender insight, wit and an assured touch for subtly resonant moments and details, Borne has created three sisters who are a passionate mixture of backbone and fragility, blindness and understanding, hesitation and impulse, guardedness and openness. It’s their very ambivalence, indecision and inner conflicts, coupled with their ruefully ironic awareness of the soap opera qualities of their love lives, that makes them so real and appealing.... In these quietly intense, economically-written stories, which so movingly blend the poignant with the absurd, Bourne powerfully evokes the turbulent landscape of want, need, desire and memory that lies underneath the deceptively still surfaces of everyday life.’

—Toronto Star

Unpublished endorsement

‘Lesley-Anne Bourne has that rare thing, a voice that rings truer than true, and the drop-dead timing of a stand-up comic. But her vision is tragic, her placement always at odds with the world in which she passes.’

—Katherine Govier


Lesley-Anne Bourne was born in North Bay, Ontario, in 1964, and received an Honours B.A. from York University and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. Three collections of her poetry have been published: The Story of Pears (1990), which was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Award; Skinny Girls (1993); and Field Day (1996). She is the recipient of the Milton Acorn/Air Nova Poetry Award, the Banff Centre’s Bliss Carman Award for poetry, and the Carl Sentner Fiction Award. In 1994 she was honoured with the Air Canada Award, administered by the Canadian Authors’ Association, for a Canadian writer under thirty who shows outstanding promise. The Bubble Star is her first novel. Lesley lives in Charlottetown and teaches at the University of Prince Edward Island.

The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.

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FICTION / Literary

FICTION / General

ISBN-13: 9780889841994

Publication Date: 1998-08-30

Dimensions: 8.75 in x 5.56 in

Pages: 160

Price: $15.95