life rattle show no. 1369

Presented on TuesdaY, march 29, 2016


hosted by laurie kallis


"Cats Attract"
"Reading Buddies"
by Alexander Melnyk

tonight's Show

features three stories by new Life Rattle writer Alexander Melnyk.

Alexander Melnyk was born in Mississauga in 1993. The older of two children, he was born to first-generation Ukrainian Canadian parents. Growing up in the suburbs yielded strange results as he is now a connoisseur of anime, baking shows, video games, and Lemony Snicket books. After completing his studies in writing, Alexander Melnyk intends to continue pedalling the academic grindstone until he masters the techniques of traditional illustration.

Alexander Melnyk brings a unique turn of phrase to his narratives. This, along with the clarity of his prose, gives readers a fresh view of relatively commonplace occurrences. From early childhood to early teens, we follow our narrator, his quirky humour, his struggle with body image, and his deepening friendship with a schoolmate. The honesty and vulnerability presented in these stories forge an irresistible intimacy between us and the main characters.

"Cats Attract" introduces us to our narrator on the first day of grade one, when he meets the golden-haired Olena, who surprises him with the feline treasure she carries in her backpack.

"Reading Buddies" has our narrator in a bit of a predicament when the four-year-old hellion he is teamed up with as a reading buddy identifies him as a princess rather than a prince—and then wreaks havoc when told otherwise.

"Doormat" has a very glum narrator sitting around with his friend Olena, who challenges his willingness to accept the indignities he suffers as one-third of what he refers to as their school’s “fat club.” Stunned by her unexpected harsh words, he strides off, only to find himself caught in an even more shocking confrontation.