‘The Wedding’ by Dennis Bock

Bock’s collection of linked stories draws on imaginary outtakes of Riefenstahl’s film about the 1936 Berlin Olympics to unite the stories of post-war German immigrants. ‘The Wedding’ is my favourite. Narrator Peter’s grandparents decide to renew their vows for their 35th anniversary. Olympians themselves, they were in the stands when sprinter Jesse Owens changed the course of history. We know from the opening sentence that something has gone awry, everyone subdued from the night drive home from the lake where they “have been for the last day and a half, sorting out details with the police.” Quietly and masterfully shifting between present and past, the story becomes a photograph itself.

From Olympia, Doubleday Canada, 1998