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Fiction Feminist


by (author) Kathryn Mockler

Book*hug Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2023
Feminist, Absurdist, Contemporary Women, Coming of Age, Short Stories (single author)
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price

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Shortlisted for the 2023 Danuta Gleed Literary Award

Finalist for the 2024 Trillium Book Award

With dreamlike stories and dark humour, Anecdotes is a hybrid collection in four parts examining the pressing realities of sexual violence, abuse, and environmental collapse.

Absurdist flash fictions in “The Boy is Dead” depict characters such as a park that hates hippies, squirrels, and unhappy parents; a woman lamenting a stolen laptop the day the world ends; and birds slamming into glass buildings.

“We’re Not Here to Talk About Aliens” gathers autofictions that follow a young protagonist from childhood to early 20s, through the murky undercurrent of potential violence amidst sexual awakening, from first periods to flashers, sticker books to maxi pad art, acid trips to blackouts, and creepy professors to close calls.

“This Isn’t a Conversation” shares one-liners from overheard conversations, found texts, diary entries, and random thoughts: many are responses to the absurdity and pain of the current political and environmental climate.

In “My Dream House,” the past and the future are personified as various incarnations in relationships to one another (lovers, a parent and child, siblings, friends), all engaged in ongoing conflict.

These varied, immersive works bristle with truth in the face of unprecedented change. They are playful forms for serious times.

About the author

Kathryn Mockler is the author of the poetry book Onion Man (Tightrope Books, 2011). Her writing has appeared in such venues as Joyland, The Antigonish Review, Rattle Poetry, CellStories, PIF, The Puritan, La Petite Zine, nthposition, and This Magazine, The Capilano Review, Descant, and The Windsor Review. In 2005, she attended the Canadian Film Centre's Writers' Lab and wrote two short films for the NBC/Universal Short Dramatic Film Program. Her films have been broadcast on TMN, Movieola, and Bravo and have screened at festivals such as the Washington Project for the Arts Experimental Media Series, Toronto International Film Festival, Palm Springs International Festival, Worldfest, Cinequest, and EMAF. Currently, she teaches creative writing at the University of Western Ontario and is the co-editor of the UWO online journal The Rusty Toque. The Saddest Place on Earth is her second complete collection of poems.

Kathryn Mockler's profile page


  • Nominated, Trillium Book Award
  • Short-listed, Danuta Gleed Literary Award

Editorial Reviews

“Mockler blends traditional form with conversation deconstructions, one liners, and flash fiction. ‘Past and future’ is a reoccurring motif, and provides an organic pathway to explore the trajectory of the climate crisis in our lifetime, and the media’s all too common ‘how did we get here?’ refrain. Mockler’s look at social nostalgia is particularly satisfying, with wildly relatable stories that offer the possibility for rosy recollection, and then yank it away with a grin.” —49th Shelf

"Mockler cleverly relays here that we’re so influenced by our past and our future that we remain stagnant... Her abruption of this silenced upbringing is radically transformative and is a call to action to all who will listen."—White Wall Review

“I was pleased to have Anecdotes in my hands and immerse myself in Mockler’s work…Against this darkness, the light shines ever brighter. Mockler bravely looks into the void and reports what she sees. Again, Beckett comes to mind” —Michael Bryson

"In powerful, distilled prose, Mockler seamlessly blends dark humour with pain. Add in absurdist flash fiction, climate anxiety, micro-conversations—this is a book with existential bite."—The Ampersand Review

“Kathryn Mockler’s debut collection of short fiction is a deliciously dark and clever experiment that succeeds beautifully. Across four parts, the book riffs through flash fiction, connected stories, and micro conversations, ending with a past/future blend of hopelessness that will appeal to any cynic—or perhaps even realist.” —The British Columbia Review

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