life rattle show no. 1342

Presented on thursday, May 21, 2015


hosted by laurie kallis



by Aubrey Keay



tonight's Show

On our final Mother's Day themed show this year, Life Rattle No. 1342 features two stories by new Life Rattle writer Aubrey Keay.

Aubrey Keay is a fifth generation Canadian, Toronto native, born in 1980. She moved fifteen times, attended nine schools, and travelled to twelve countries before settling down with her husband, who had only moved house once and made planting roots look very appealing. They now raise their three-year-old son in the Bloor West Village area of Toronto and Aubrey spends her days fielding questions beginning with, “Why?” She tries to make her son eat anything other than cheese, and kisses his cheeks mercilessly. Aubrey’s career and hobbies are generally similar: organizing and labelling things. Aubrey Keay wrote and self-published her first book, How To Make Fire, at age four. Sales were poor, due to only one copy in circulation.

Aubrey Keay writes with a precise, succinct style and a melodic rhythm that moves the story forward effortlessly. She creates a wonderful groove with ample psychic space for the reader to follow the flow of the narrative—but don’t let the easy flow lull you. Aubrey doesn’t spoonfeed us. Her writing is sharp and you have to pay attention.

"Astra" visits the theme of motherhood from two angles: first, it delivers a distinct character sketch of the narrator’s own mother, and then it gives us our first glance of the narrator herself, early in the morning, still under the covers, with a bottle of her husband’s sperm tucked against her body—to keep it warm. And there we have it, all the necessary ingredients for parenthood.

"Birth" is a bit of an anomaly for Life Rattle, and actually quite an uncommon approach to narrative writing in general. Aubrey has chosen to present her story using a second-person point of view which, in this case, works well—bringing an effortless intimacy to a very personal story addressed to her child on the day of his birth.