by carl wilson

Ian Brown's Boy in the Moon

I seldom mention on Zoilus the stories I work on as an editor of The Globe and Mail's Focus section, but I feel compelled to let those of you who've missed it know about the series "The Boy in the Moon" by my colleague and friend Ian Brown, which began this past weekend and continues the next two. It's the story of Ian's life with his son, Walker, who has a rare genetic syndrome called CFC that makes him disabled in a dozen different ways. But it is a tough, curious, humorous and philosophical take on the sort of subject matter that is usually served with a heavy sauce of sentiment. Ian's writing, always strong, is at its best here. It's lengthy (the groundwork for a future book) but incredibly emotionally and intellectually engrossing. The multimedia content on the website is compelling, too.

General | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, December 04 at 4:51 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (3)



Sorry to hear you feel that way, Jay. I think that whole issue of deficit versus personhood is precisely what the piece is meant to raise, and I wonder if you got through to the end, where it's dealt with very explicitly. But if it struck your ear that way, understood. I think that's the risk taken by addressing the subject so personally, and sometimes writer and reader just don't click.

Posted by zoilus on December 28, 2007 12:05 AM



While I generally agree with your opinions, and really enjoy your criticism, I couldn't disagree with you more about Ian Brown's articles, and feel a little gap in my respect for your work opening up when I see you worked on this piece as an editor. Have you ever read a more self-absorbed writer than Ian Brown? It really hurts the ethos of this long essay, too, because the result is a dehumanization not just of Walker, but of all people with disabilities. Much of this is accomplished tonally and through incredibly poor language choice. This language of defect and deficit (in place of subjectivity and personhood) also comes through in your brief description of the piece, and reveals a shared ignorance.

It's on you.

What is even more sad is that the piece was given such an over-sized stage. Genuine and empathetic voices never get this type of amplification.

Posted by Jay on December 26, 2007 7:51 PM



I read the first installment last Saturday, and thought it was honest, absorbing, moving stuff. The accompanying pictures were amazing, too. Glad to hear it's going to blossom into a book.

Posted by VickiZ on December 5, 2007 6:22 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson