At the heart of Zsuzsi Gartner’s exuberant prose is a cri de coeur for personal responsibility as the sun sets on a century in which the media was omnipresent and everyone felt like a victim. There are no innocent bystanders here, though.
A woman calls in fake bomb threats from the nineteenth floor of a bank tower as revenge against her ex-lover. The mother of a girl killed by a teenage urban guerrilla thrives spectacularly in her industrious grief, transforming herself into a forgiveness guru and talk-show host. Lured into the wilderness by her desire for a man who rebuilds vintage airplanes, a young woman finds she lusts more for biscotti and city sidewalks. A small, heroic child makes a guileless request for pajamas and creates a psychic storm at the center of her anxious, achievement-mad, parents’ lives.
These are deliciously noisy stories—high octane linguistic rocketry that takes on a world gone numb. Often both achingly poignant and funny, these remarkable tales dazzle with a unique sensibility shot through with intellectual verve and crackling black wit.
About the author
Zsuzsi Gartner is the author of the critically acclaimed story collection All The Anxious Girls on Earth. A former senior editor at Saturday Night magazine, she is currently creative director of Vancouver Review's Blueprint B.C. Fiction series. She is the winner of a 2007 National Magazine Award for Fiction and the recipient of numerous awards for her magazine journalism. Her stories have been produced on radio in Canada and the U.S. Gartner has lived in Winnipeg, Calgary, Toronto and Ottawa and now lives in Vancouver, a utopian dystopia.
“Zsuzsi Gartner is a brilliant, ball-busting, mind-expanding writer, the kind who sneaks up on you with her darkness, her wit, her imagination, her humour, her political savvy.” —The Globe and Mail
“[Gartner’s] undeniably original voice charges her stories with irresistible verve.” —Publishers Weekly
“Zsuzsi Gartner’s collection is better than great. The language dances on the pages.” —Calgary Herald
“Gartner writes smart, delicious fiction.... Consider it double espresso for the soul.” —Vancouver Courier
“[Gartner] uses her sharp wit to deft advantage in portraying a parade of clever, observant, sardonic female protagonists.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A combination of wicked humour, wild imagination, mordant satire, close observations, and tight, tight control.” —Georgia Straight
“Gartner wears the short story like spandex on a bicycle courier.” —Quill and Quire (starred review)
“All the Anxious Girls On Earth is madly engaging and utterly accomplished. Like Lorrie Moore or Mary Flanagan, Gartner skillfully renders her anxious girls with both sadness and joy. Equal parts malevolent wit and great tenderness, these stories are original and reckless, and, like chocolate grasshoppers, are best swallowed whole.” —Lynn Crosbie
Other titles by Zsuzsi Gartner
Related blog posts
The State of the Canadian Short Story in 2015
We check in with fine writers across the country to find out where Canadian stories are at.
Eliza Robertson's Red Letter Day
Today it's Eliza Robertson's Red Letter Day. The Journey-Prize-nominated author has a new short story collection coming out soon, Wallflowers, and has …