Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Fiction Short Stories (single Author)

Crooked Thing, The

by (author) Mary MacDonald

Caitlin Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2021
Short Stories (single author), Contemporary Women, Family Life
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2021
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


For fans of Alice Munro and Carol Shields comes an emotional and hopeful collection of short stories that delve into the tragedies that befall each of us in the search for goodness and meaning.

The English poet, William Blake said, “joy and woe are woven fine.” So it is in The Crooked Thing. A collection of intense and emotional stories, there are traumas and betrayals, loves and losses, missed opportunities and discoveries, and above all, hope. In tales delicate and steely, a troubled young ferryman finds himself with an unexpected passenger, a songbird finds its voice, a mother learns to let go of her son and, after a chance encounter, an aging ballerina dances again.

In her debut story collection, Mary MacDonald brings each narrator to face their own existence, taking the reader into darkness, passing through fear and resistance, to seek redemption and freedom. At their core these are love stories; they move us, disturb us, and upend our beliefs, to show us characters not all that different from ourselves.

About the author

Mary MacDonald is a poet and writer and holds a PhD from the University of British Columbia. She has written poetry for ballet, public art, and libretto. Her fiction has appeared in Room magazine and nonfiction in Pique newsmagazine. Her chapbook, Going in Now, was published in 2014 by NIB Publishing. She is a member of the Whistler, BC writing group, The Vicious Circle, sits on the board of the Whistler Writers Festival, and serves as curator and moderator for the poetry division of the festival.

Mary MacDonald's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Though reducing the stories to bullet-points of plot creates an impression that MacDonald is deeply sombre and perhaps a touch death-obsessed, her stories are in fact meditative about the enormous complexity — and importance — of close relationships. The stories are testaments to our personal connections and laments about how easily — and how permanently — they can go astray.”

Vancouver Sun

“Much narration is through the memory’s prism, with characters shaped by childhood abuse and absent or missing relatives. With the textures of fiction, as with the subtleties of love, MacDonald shines.”

The Ormsby Review

Other titles by Mary MacDonald