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Mark Foss

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A visit "home" to CKCU at Carleton University, where I produced and hosted a film/video public affairs program in the mid 1980s. My interview runs from 44:13 - 56:35 in the link below. Click "Listen Now".

"A darkly humorous tale of sibling rivalry and devotion."

The character of Hoss in Molly O is a progressive rock aficionado. Picking up on this theme, Andrew Wild, UK-based broadcaster and playwright, invited me to choose my favourite progressive rock songs for his monthly show The Progzilla Files. The link below to "Mark Foss's Desert Island Prog" is a two-hour podcast featuring 90 minutes of music and a half hour interview about Molly O and how the songs I chose connect (or not) to the novel.

“Fascinating, well-told… a wonderfully imagined piece of fiction”, Andrew Armitage, Owen Sound Sun Times, 2 July 2016.


My conversation with Brad de Roo about Molly O in carte blanche, a Quebec-based virtual arts journal, moves from the pumpkin patch of Charles Schulz to the dream-like fiction of Bruno Schulz, by way of Bonanza.

"...finely drawn characterizations and attention to detail and an elegance of writing". Listen to an audio review of Molly O by Andy Wild, a UK-based playwright and broadcaster, host of The Progzilla Files on Radio Progzilla. He has interspersed the review with progressive rock music (which runs through Molly O). How many songs can you identify?

Kissing the Damned

“Foss tells (the) Murray story in the perfect pitch, a loose comfortable style that rarely strikes a false note. Moreover, there are some real gems among the episodes. “The Escort,” expertly juxtaposes the emotionally frigid Murray with the jocular warmth of Frank Chande, a visitor from Nigeria, and in doing so, poignantly illustrates just how hard it is for Murray to reach out. “Sleepover” captures that ambivalence that we often feel, but rarely admit, at the beginning of a relationship. “Games We Play” expertly draws on the tensions that exist between friends. Most of Foss’ characters read true. Murray, however emotionally stunted, is complex and likeable, and in his exchanges with Brie, a unique and well constructed character, slices of real comedy shine through.”

The Danforth Review
(Kissing the Damned)


“Kissing the Damned, the first book by Mark Foss, explores the emotional ups and downs of Murray Lockhart, an Ottawa-based aid worker, who yearns for stable relationships with the women he dates, yet can't seem to hold one for long. Deep within him, there's an emotional insecurity, which prevents him from opening up his heart. His shaky sense of identity, the result of a tumultuous relationship with his father, eats away at him, giving the book a melancholic aura.

Though it is centrally about Murray's conflicting emotions in a relationship setting, the novel lacks a single plot line that draws readers from the first page to the last. Rather, the stories are packaged in a way that (mistakenly) leaves readers with a feeling that the book is a collection of short stories about one person.

But like a thread connecting together torn pieces of cloth, the exploration of Murray's personality and unsure identity is the one element that packages the stories together, giving them a sense of oneness that is both powerful and intriguing.”

Embassy Magazine


“Set mainly in the National Capital Region and in cottage country near Brockville, Kissing the Damned links 13 themed stories, some darkly humorous, and others rather melancholy, in which the protagonist—a disenchanted, middle-aged direct-mail writer for a foreign aid organization—meditates on love, loss, sex and the inescapable importance of meaningful work in the life of every contented human being… Rendered ineffectual, he struggles to shake free of the shackles imposed on him by others and to regain the power he has lost. The protagonist learns to breach the dividing wall he has build around himself.”

Ottawa Life Magazine