This Time, That Place draws together twenty-four stories that span the entirety of Blaise's career, including one never previously published. Moving swiftly across place and time, through and between languages--from Florida's Confederate swamps, to working-class Pittsburgh, to Montreal and abroad--they demonstrate Blaise's mastery of the short story and reveal the range of his preoccupation with identity as fallacy, fable, and dream.
A stunning literary command...[Blaise] should, by rights, be a CanLit icon, on par with the likes of Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood ... Elements and concerns repeat themselves compulsively ... Blaise writes with a plainspoken immediacy ... The stories seem to blur the line between fiction, memoir, and personal essay, creating a deep intimacy with the characters and their situations ... A powerful approach ... One could open the book anywhere and be engulfed in the frank, carefully observed quality of Blaise’s work ... The closing paragraphs of 'A North American Education' are sheer perfection, the sort of writing any author dreams of, and which, it seems, comes so easily for Blaise. This Time, That Place is not only a stunning collection of fiction, it is one of considerable importance.
A fresh opportunity to encounter the work of a writer whose literary talent is evident in every one of these well-crafted tales ... Blaise's stories are shapely and full of keenly observed details that bring their often unglamorous settings to life. For those unfamiliar with his work, This Time, That Place will come as an especially pleasant discovery.
The first two-thirds of this book can feel old-fashioned, but mostly in a good way. The stories have an autobiographical buzz and intensity ... Peripatetic ... These stories cover ground not only geographically. They are also crowded with character and incident, always fiercely and smartly observed; Blaise is, as Margaret Atwood puts it in her foreword, 'the eye at the keyhole...the ear at the door.'