Like Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends and Eileen Myles’s Chelsea Girls, All I Ask by the award-winning and highly acclaimed author Eva Crocker is a defining novel of a generation.
A little before seven in the morning, Stacey wakes to the police pounding on her door. They search her home and seize her computer and her phone, telling her they’re looking for “illegal digital material.” Left to unravel what’s happened, Stacey must find a way to take back the privacy and freedom she feels she has lost.
Luckily, she has her friends. Smart and tough and almost terrifyingly open, Stacey and her circle are uncommonly free of biases and boundaries, but this incident reveals how they are still susceptible to society’s traps. Navigating her way through friendship, love, and sex, Stacey strives to restore her self-confidence and to actualize the most authentic way to live her life — one that acknowledges both her power and her vulnerability, her joy and her fear.
All I Ask is a bold and bracing exploration of what it’s like to be young in a time when everything and nothing seems possible. With a playwright’s ear for dialogue and a wry, delicate confidence, Eva Crocker writes with a compassionate but unsentimental eye on human nature that perfectly captures the pitfalls of relying on the people you love.
EVA CROCKER is the author of the critically acclaimed debut short story collection Barrelling Forward, which won the Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction and the CAA Emerging Writer Award, was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers and the NLCU Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers, and was a National Post Best Book.
PRAISE FOR EVA CROCKER AND ALL I ASK:
“A wickedly funny, sexy, joyous novel, threaded through with sadness, uncertainty, and emotional risk.” — Toronto Star
“This could be the breakout novel of the year.” — NOW Magazine
“There are novels that feel alive. There is no other way to describe it, because words like ‘fresh’ or ‘current’ are not enough. These novels are more than just a compelling plot or strong writing. They do more than tap into current events or debates. These novels offer access to something made animate on the page, and speak from a perspective that feels somehow deeply familiar and entirely unknown; Eva Crocker’s All I Ask is one such novel … Refreshing as it is tense and sensual as it is sad, All I Ask is a sharp and absorbing read.” — Miramichi Reader
“Eva Crocker’s stunning debut, All I Ask, eloquently depicts a generation struggling to gain self-determination in a climate steeped in societal deprivation, violence, and greed. Her characters, informed by progressive ideals and the optimism of youth, labour to overcome precariousness in all aspects of their lived experience. Housing. Employment. Love. All they ask of their home, by birth or by choice, is for some semblance of physical autonomy, emotional respect, and financial stability. Crocker implores we acknowledge the power inequity inherent in her city so that we might access an unknown store of compassion and empathy. Eva Crocker’s All I Ask is precise and fervent storytelling. She is a fascinating, keen voice in Newfoundland and Labrador. All I Ask is a compelling novel and an impressive accomplishment for one of our most promising writers.” — Megan Gail Coles, author of Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club
“Crocker pulls off an ending that brings the drama full circle in a way that is both unexpected and satisfying … Comparisons to Sally Rooney and Eileen Myles have been made, but there’s something in Crocker’s forthright descriptions of physical bodies and their functions that feels closer to the work of Ottessa Moshfegh … It is Crocker’s straightforward honesty and forthrightness that is most refreshing.” — Quill & Quire
PRAISE FOR EVA CROCKER AND BARRELLING FORWARD:
A National Post Best Book of the Year
Winner, Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction
Winner, Canadian Authors Association Emerging Writer Award
Finalist, Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers
Finalist, NLCU Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers
“An intimate and fascinating read.” — This Magazine
“Suggesting Alice Munro is both high and lazy praise — an easy way to say well-set short fiction and a pretty future for Crocker in CanLit — but there’s a quality to this Newfoundland author’s work that fans of the Nobel Prize winner will recognize, if they’re willing to displace age, place, and decoration accordingly. Where Munro so remarkably captures rural banality, Crocker taps a similarly enthralling mundanity in Quebec’s urban bustle and Eastern Canada’s could-be-anywhere suburban sprawls.” — National Post
“A fine and enthralling collection that will excite and seduce readers.” — Toronto Star
“Barrelling Forward is a short story collection unique for its diverse points of view … Crocker draws us in immediately … These brief pieces resonate with the reader for a long time.” — Winnipeg Free Press
“Beautifully tense, packed with true-to-life richness … This is a sure-footed and promising literary introduction.” — Telegram
“Barrelling Forward comes at you in about the same way as her title would suggest: brazen, but entirely enthralling. Crocker may well be our modern Munro, or at least something close when it comes to Canada’s greatest storytellers.” — National Post
“Eva Crocker is a remarkable stylist; her impressive stories crackle with life and originality. Barrelling Forward is a stunning debut.” — Zoe Whittall, author of The Best Kind of People
“Whether they are flipping over in a car or are at a Deep Purple concert, the characters in Barrelling Forward have no intention of accepting their narrative. Each page is filled with the mundane, steeped in awe. And underneath it all lies a strange rage. Eva Crocker is a bright new misfit in CanLit.” — Heather O’Neill, author of Daydreams of Angels
“Honest, funny, smart and so, so well-crafted, Barrelling Forward is a feast for those starving for the real thing in fiction. The ancient and peculiar mystery of intimacy — how we fit (or fail to fit) into the lives that surround us — winds its murky way through the whole collection, but each story burns with the excitement of a brand new case, completely original, and saturated with sharp detail. This is the work of a debut writer already at the top of her game. Please, Ms. Crocker, we want some more!” — Alexander MacLeod, author of Light Lifting