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Canadian Short Stories

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These stories are short, sometimes sweet, and very Canadian.

Moore, Lisa
Something for Everyone

Internationally celebrated as one of literature's most gifted stylists, Lisa Moore returns with her third story collection, a soaring chorus of voices, dreams, loves, and lives. Taking us from the Fjord of Eternity to the streets of St. John's and the swamps of Orlando, these stories show us the timeless, the tragic, and the miraculous hidden in the underbelly of our everyday lives. A missing rock god may have jumped a cruise ship -- in the Arctic. A grieving young woman may live next to a serial rapist. A man's last day on earth replays in the minds of others in a furiously sensual, heartrending fugue. Something for Everyone is Moore at the peak of her prowess -- she seems bent on nothing less than rewiring the circuitry of the short story itself.

Henighan, Stephen
Blue river and red earth

These eleven short stories cover a wide range of territory - from Toronto to Cuba to Eastern Europe. And, wide-ranging over geography as they are, they also cover an array of characters and situations that can only be situated in the twenty-first century. Author Stephen Henighan teaches Spanish American literature at the University of Guelph.

Cooper, Paige.
Zolitude

Paige Cooper's short stories catalogue moments in love. These are stories about women who built time machines when they were nine, or who predict cataclysm, or who think their dreams are reality. They include police horses with talons and giant eagles and weredeer. At the center of it all is love. And if love is the problem, what is the solution? Being closer? Or being alone?

Leung, Carrianne K. Y.
That time I loved you

Life is never as perfect as it seems. Tensions that have lurked beneath the surface of a shiny new subdivision rise up. The suburbs of the 1970s promised to be heaven on earth - new houses, new status, happiness guaranteed. But in a Scarborough subdivision populated by newcomers from all over the world, a series of sudden catastrophic events reveals that not everyone's dreams come true. Moving from house to house, Carrianne Leung explores the inner lives behind the tidy front gardens and picture-perfect windows, always returning to June, an irrepressible adolescent Chinese-Canadian coming of age in this shifting world. Through June and her neighbours, Leung depicts the fine line where childhood meets the realities of adult life, and examines, with insight and sharp prose, how difficult it is to be true to ourselves at any age.

Westhead, Jessica
Things not to do

Things Not to Do is a collection of stories that seeks to examine--through humour, wit, empathy, and honesty--the dark side of ordinary people. We know them; sometimes we are them. They aren't scheming supervillains; they're folks trying to make the most of what they think they have--even if that sometimes means stepping on someone who doesn't deserve it.

MacLeod, Alison
All the beloved ghosts

Hovering on the border of life and death, these stories form a ground-shifting collection, taking us into history, literature and the hidden lives of iconic figures. Precise, playful and evocative, these exquisitely crafted stories explore memory, the media and mortality, unfolding at the line between reality and fiction. Written with vigorous intelligence and delicate insight, this collection captures the surprising joys, small tragedies and profound truths of existence.

Novakovich, Josip
Tumbleweed

In this latest short-story collection Josip Novakovich explores the shallow roots of emigration as he traverses North America from university post to writing residency. These stories take on an aura of memoir as they invite us into the privacy of his family experiences. Novakovich is in search of a natural existence, whether it be living close to the land or raising animals.

Willis, Deborah
The dark and other love stories

The characters in these thirteen masterful and engaging stories exist on the edge of danger, where landscapes melt into dreamscapes and every house is haunted. A drug dealer's girlfriend signs up for the first manned mission to Mars. A girl falls in love with a man who wants to turn her into a bird. A teenage girl and her best friend test their relationship by breaking into suburban houses. A wife finds a gaping hole in the floor of the home she shares with her husband, a hole that only she can see. Full of longing and strange humour, these subtle, complex stories show how love ties us to one another and to the world.

Crocker, Eva.
Barrelling forward

In stories that ache with longing even as they pulse with new possibilities, Crocker gives us an unforgettable array of ordinary people, sometimes soaring, sometimes sinking, but always, ultimately, barrelling forward towards what's next. Vivid, sexy, funny, and raw, this is a marvel of a debut from one of Canada's most thrilling new writers.

Taylor, Drew Hayden
Take us to your chief

The nine stories in this collection span all traditional topics of science fiction--from peaceful aliens to hostile invaders; from space travel to time travel; from government conspiracies to connections across generations.

Jackson, Marni.
Don't I know you?

What if some of the artists we feel as if we know--Meryl Streep, Neil Young, Bill Murray--turned up in the course of our daily lives? This is what happens to Rose McEwan, an ordinary woman who keeps having strange encounters with famous people. With wit and insight, Marni Jackson takes a world obsessed with celebrity and turns it on its head. In Don't I Know You? , she shows us how fame is just another form of fiction, and how, in the end, the daily dramas of an ordinary woman's life can be as captivating and poignant as any luminary tell-all.

Powell, Kerry-Lee.
Willem De Kooning's paintbrush

"Ranging from an island holiday gone wrong to a dive bar on the upswing to a yuppie mother in a pricey subdivision seeing her worst fears come true, these deftly written stories are populated by barkeeps, good men down on their luck, rebellious teens, lonely immigrants, dreamers and realists, fools and quiet heroes. In author Kerry-Lee Powells skillful hands, each character, no matter what their choices, is deeply human in their search for connection. Powell holds us in her grasp, exploring with a black humour themes of belonging, the simmering potential for violence and the meaning of art no matter where it is found, and revealing with each story something essential about the way we see the world."--From publisher.

McLean, Stuart
Vinyl Cafe turns the page

A brand new collection of Vinyl Cafe stories, from the inimitable Stuart McLean, featuring a worldlier and wiser Dave and Morley Dave and Morley are growing older, Steph and Sam are growing up. Moving out and moving on. Dave and Morley's marriage has mellowed and deepened like a fine wine, Sam has developed a palate for girls and Gruyere, and Steph's found happiness with an artist who photographs roadkill. Everyone's growing wiser and worldlier--well, almost everyone. Yes, Dave still has trouble with the automatic car wash, defibrillators, and hot yoga, but he's come to appreciate Mary Turlington, and that's saying quite a bit. In this brand new collection of Vinyl Cafe stories, the more things change, the more things stay the same...

O'Neill, Heather
Daydreams of angels

Heather O'Neill's distinctive style and voice fill these charming, sometimes dark, always beguiling stories. From "The Robot Baby," in which we discover what happens when a robot feels emotion for the very first time, to "Heaven," about a grandfather who died for a few minutes when he was nine and visited the pearly gates, to "The Little Wolf-Boy of Northern Quebec," in which untamed children run wild through the streets of Paris, to "Dolls," in which a little girl's forgotten dolls tell their own stories of woe and neglect, we are immersed in utterly unique worlds. Also included in the collection is "The End of Pinky," which has been made into short film by the NFB. With this collection, Heather O'Neill showcases her diversity and skill as a writer and draws us in with each page.

Archibald, Samuel
Arvida

Arvida, with its stories of innocent young girls and wild beasts, attempted murder and ritual mutilation, haunted houses and road trips heading nowhere, is unforgettable. Like a Proust-obsessed Cormac McCarthy, Samuel Archibald's portrait of his hometown, a model town design by American industrialist Arthur Vining Davis, does for Quebec's North what William Faulkner did for the South, and heralds an important new voice in world literature.

Smith, Russell
Confidence

In the stories of Confidence, there are ecstasy-taking PhD students, financial traders desperate for husbands, owners of failing sex stores, violent and unremovable tenants, aggressive raccoons, seedy massage parlors, experimental filmmakers who record every second of their day, and wives who blog insults directed at their husbands. There are cheating husbands. There are private clubs, crowded restaurants, psychiatric wards. There is one magic cinema and everyone has a secret of some kind.

Vanderhaeghe, Guy
Daddy Lenin

Bestselling author Guy Vanderhaeghe's new book of fiction is both timely and timeless and showcases his supreme talent as a storyteller and poignant observer of the human condition. With Daddy Lenin and Other Stories, award-winning author Guy Vanderhaeghe returns once again to the form that launched his stellar literary career. Here is a grand master writing at the height of his powers.

Gaston, Bill
Juliet was a surprise

Gaston's characteristic keen insight and wit dazzle in this new collection. Readers will see the world through the prism of unfamiliar perspectives: a bank executive whose excellent sex life might in fact be killing her, an amorous tree surgeon better attuned to the values of his "patients" than to other people, a vacationing schizophrenic, a pizza-delivery boy convinced he's witnessed magic--all struggling with the world as they see it. This versatile collection--at times darkly playful, absurd, or shockingly real--illustrates how we can fail to understand the simplest of truths and how we are trapped by the peculiarities of our own points of view.

Lam, Vincent.
Bloodletting & miraculous cures

Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures welcomes readers into a world where the most mundane events can quickly become life or death. By following four young medical students and physicians - Ming, Fitz, Sri and Chen - this debut collection from 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Vincent Lam is a riveting, eye-opening account of what it means to be a doctor.

Munro, Alice
Dear life

With her peerless ability to give us the essence of a life in often brief but spacious and timeless stories, Alice Munro illumines the moment a life is shaped -- the moment a dream, or sex, or perhaps a simple twist of fate turns a person out of his or her accustomed path and into another way of being. Suffused with Munro's clarity of vision and her unparalleled gift for storytelling, these stories (set in the world Munro has made her own: the countryside and towns around Lake Huron) about departures and beginnings, accidents, dangers, and homecomings both virtual and real, paint a vivid and lasting portrait of how strange, dangerous, and extraordinary the ordinary life can be.

Hill, Miranda
Sleeping funny

Sleeping Funny is that rare book--a debut that introduces us to a fully mature writer, one who instantly draws you in with her lean style, empathy and wit, and keeps you reading, with growing admiration and delight, from first page to last. These stories showcase Miranda Hill's astonishing range and virtuosity, introducing us to a protean variety of characters, each as well-realized as the next.

Coady, Lynn
Hellgoing

Equally adept at capturing the foibles and obsessions of men and of women, compassionate in her humour yet never missing an opportunity to make her characters squirm, fascinated as much by faithlessness as by faith, Lynn Coady is quite possibly the writer who best captures what it is to be human at this particular moment in our history.

Dobozy, Tamas
Siege 13

In December of 1944, the Red Army entered Budapest to begin one of the bloodiest sieges of the Second World War. By February, the siege was over, but its effects were to be felt for decades afterward. Siege 13 is a collection of thirteen linked stories about this terrible time in history, both its historical moment, but also later, as a legacy of silence, haunting, and trauma that shadows the survivors.

Atwood, Margaret
Stone mattress

In these nine dazzlingly inventive and rewarding stories, Margaret Atwood's signature dark humour, playfulness, and deadly seriousness are in abundance.

Donoghue, Emma
Astray

Goldminer. Counterfeiter. Slave. Dishwasher. Prostitute. Attorney. Sculptor. Mercenary. Elephant. Corpse. The colourful, fascinating characters that roam the pages of Emma Donoghue's stories have all gone astray: they are emigrants, runaways, drifters, lovers old and new. They cross other borders too: those of race, law, sex and sanity. They travel for love or money, incognito or under duress. With rich detail, the celebrated author of Room takes us from puritan Massachusetts to the Yukon gold rush, antebellum Louisiana to a 1960s Toronto highway. Astray offers us a surprising and moving history for restless times.

Galchen, Rivka.
American innovations

Alternately realistic, fantastical, witty and lyrical, these are all deeply emotional tales, written in exuberant, pitch-perfect prose and shadowed by the darkly marvellous and the marvellously uneasy. Whether exploring the tensions in a mother-daughter relationship or the finer points of time travel, Galchen takes great risks, proving that she is a writer like none other today.

Darwin's bastards

These 23 stories take us on a twisted fun ride into some future times and parallel universes where characters as diverse as a one-legged International Actuarial Forensics specialist, a pharmaceutical guinea pig, and a far-sighted fetus engage in their own games of the survival of the fittest.

Thien, Madeleine
Simple recipes

Longing, familiarity, and hope suffuse these stories as they mine the charged territory of relationships - subtly weaving in conflicts between generations and cultures. Madeleine Thien's characters in some way want to make amends, to understand the events that have shaped their lives. Compassionate and revealing, delicate and wise, these stories chart the uneven progress of love and lay bare the heartbreaking truths at the core of our closest bonds.