Douglas Glover's collection of stories mezmerizes like no other. A sheer tour-de-force, the collection features eleven new stories that demonstrate that Glover is capable of writing like no other writer. Like a good Beatles album, the collection includes Glover's best new stories, linked only by the quality of the writing. The stories are wide ranging examples of fine, often comic, writing.
"The Left Ladies Club" is about a man who leaves teaching to become a writer, giving himself licence to live the bohemian life. In Glover's merciless portrayal, the Ragged Point literary scene consists of the sorriest bunch of excuse-mongering losers you'll ever encounter.
In "La Corriveau" (ref: the Siren of Quebec who murdered her husband and was later hanged in an iron cage above a crossroads), an Anglo woman awakens to find a dead man (presumably a francophone) in her bed. In a hilarious turn-of-events, the female narrator, who cannot at first even remember the man's name nor how they happened to share the same bed, conceives of ways to hide the body in plain sight, while narrating the political implications of her circumstances interplayed with details from popular culture and Quebec history. In "Lunar Sensitivities," a mathematician and a scientist compete for the attention of a beautiful woman; in "Abrupt Extinctions at the End of the Cretaceous," dinosaurs compete for love and life. In both stories, love does everything but triumph. Ranging over time from pre-history to the present, from the American South to the Canadian North, Douglas Glover maps the heart in all its passion, valour, ineptitude, and vulnerability. Occasionally scabrous, horrifically funny, intermittently appalling, and wildly erotic, the stories in this collection bring to life a world in time, irony and desire prevail.
About the author
William Kennedy, the author of Ironweed, has called Douglas Glover "a very astute literary mind and an excEllent writer . . . a writer of substance," and Philip Marchand has called him "one of the most important Canadian writers of his generation." Even though he is always working outside the box, his books have gained acclaim from the most attentive critics. A Guide to Animal Behaviour was a finalist for the Governor General's Award; H.J. Kirchoff selected The Life and Times of Captain N. as a Globe and Mail top-ten paperback of 2001; and 16 Categories of Desire was a finalist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Award for Fiction. Douglas Glover is a Canadian itinerant. He grew up on the family tobacco farm in southwestern Ontario, studied philosophy at York University and the University of Edinburgh, then worked on a series of daily newspapers in New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan before earning his MFA at the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1982. He has written story collections, novels and a book of essays. Glover's fiction has been translated into Spanish, Japanese, Russian, and French, and his stories have been frequently anthologized, notably in The Best American Short Stories, Best Canadian Stories, The Journey Prize Anthology, The Macmillan Anthology and The New Oxford Book of Canadian Stories. Since he washed up in the upstate New York hinterlands in the early 90s, Glover has taught at Skidmore College, Colgate University, the State University of New York at Albany, and Vermont College. For two years he produced and hosted The Book Show, a weekly radio literary interview program that originated at WAMC in Albany and was syndicated on various public radio stations and around the world on Voice of America and the Armed Forces Network. He has two sons, Jacob and Jonah, who, he says, will no doubt turn out better than he did.
"Every sentence and every paragraph pulse with energy... We can read and re-read the stories with pleasure because of that verbal energy, that sense of humour, that sharpness of style and observation — and the occasional moment of genuine pathos."
<i>The Toronto Star</i>
"Douglas Glover's 16 Categories of Desire is a book about love and its passions. It is a book that any adult can learn from and maybe understand themselves and perhaps forgive themselves a bit."
<i>The Library of the Found Inkwell</i>
"One of the most important Canadian writers of his generation."
<i>The Toronto Star</i>
"Glover's style is crisp and precise, his observations chillingly perceptive and satirically biting."
<i>The Vancouver Sun</i>