Winner of the City of Vancouver Book Award Finalist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.
Carleigh Baker likes to make light in the dark. Whether plumbing family ties, the end of a marriage, or death itself, she never lets go of the witty, the ironic, and perhaps most notably, the awkward. Despite the title, the resolution in these stories isn't always tragic, but it's often uncomfortable, unexpected, or just plain strange. Character digressions, bad decisions, and misconceptions abound.
While steadfastly local in her choice of setting, Baker's deep appreciation for nature takes a lot of these stories out of Vancouver and into the wild. Salmon and bees play reoccurring roles in these tales, as do rivers. Occasionally, characters blend with their animal counterparts, adding a touch of magic realism. Nature is a place of escape and attempted convalescence for characters suffering from urban burnout. Even if things get weird along the way, as Hunter S. Thompson said, "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
In Bad Endings, Baker takes troubled characters to a moment of realization or self-revelation, but the results aren't always pretty.
Carleigh Baker is a Metis/Icelandic writer. Her work has appeared in subTerrain, PRISM International, Joyland, and This Magazine. She won the Lush Triumphant award for short fiction in 2012, and was nominated for the Journey Prize in 2014. Her book reviews and critical writing have appeared in The Globe & Mail, The Malahat Review, The Goose, and EVENT Magazine. She lives in Vancouver.