Fans of CBC’s Grant Lawrence have known him as a musician, a radio broadcaster and an award-winning author. Now, with his upcoming memoir The Lonely End of the Rink: Confessions of a Reluctant Goalie, we get to know yet another side of Grant: the awkward sports-playing adolescent.
For Lawrence, as an undersized, thick-glasses-and-knee-braces-wearing child, violence always just seemed to have been a part of the game. But undeterred by his stature and the constant bullying it garnered him from the jocks at school, Grant remained enthralled by the sport and its characters, especially the far off, isolated goalies down at the “lonely end of the rink.” It was with these solitaire figures whom he found a spiritual connection: “I have always had a fascination with that unique position and the ‘lonely end of the rink’, so it makes sense that I became a goalie myself, despite my total lack of skill or athletic prowess,” Lawrence explains.
The Lonely End of the Rink, which takes its title from the Tragically Hip song of the same name (with the band’s blessings), personally details all the ups and downs (a lot of downs) of Lawrence’s relationship with the Great Canadian Past Time. It is not a sympathy story. With whip-smart wit, it’s an often humourous look back on a period of his life that teaches that with enough passion, hockey can be as much a game for frail intellectuals as it is for athletic jocks.
The Lonely End of the Rink comes on the heels of Grant Lawrence’s 2010 bestseller Adventures in Solitude: What Not To Wear To a Nude Potluck and Other Stories from Desolation Sound. Look out for cross-Canada book tour dates this fall.