***DANUTA GLEED LITERARY AWARD FINALIST*** ***ALISTAIR MACLEOD PRIZE FOR SHORT FICTION FINALIST** ***MARGARET AND JOHN SAVAGE FIRST BOOK AWARD - FICTION FINALIST*** ***NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR BOOK AWARDS FICTION AWARD FINALIST***
In twelve dialed-in and exceptionally honed short stories, Terry Doyle presents an enduring assortment of characters channelled through the chain reactions of misfortune and redemption. A construction worker’s future is bound to a feckless and suspicious workmate. A young woman’s burgeoning social activism is constrained by hardship and the desperation of selling puppies online. A wedding guest recognizes a panhandler attending the reception. And a man crafts a concealed weapon with which to carry out his nightly circuit of paltry retribution. Through keen-eyed observation, and with an impressive economy of statement, Doyle conveys these characters over a backdrop of private absurdities and confusions—countering the overbearance of a post-tragic age with grit, irony, and infinitesimal signs of hope.
“A very real and empathetic sense of the struggle of ongoing daily lives, not so much pivotal turning points but vignettes of the day-to-day, the celebrations, losses and loans, arguments, injuries, siblings and families – every strand that makes up the fabric of lives going quietly, deeply wrong. Doyle writes with enviable clean prose that cuts close to the bone.”
“The stories in DIG offer assured, evocative, loving renditions of the gritty, everyday world of work and family, but are so deftly and delicately written they seem to float.”
“DIG introduces a cast of scavengers and survivors who get their hands dirty, literally and otherwise… each character's fears, motives and assumptions are gently wrenched from their chests when they aren't looking. Terry Doyle's subtle, perceptive, precisely attentive stories will leave you reeling.”
“Reading Terry Doyle's stories, I felt I had alighted on an island where familiar objects could be repurposed to new and extraordinary uses. Here is the hardware of everyday life, rendered luminous and infused with meaning. Each story is a perfect, self-contained world. Yet, as you step from one story into the next, you discover small, satisfying overlaps. Somehow, in your pocket, is an object you have carried with you from a previous story. The effect if of a beautifully coherent whole. What a gift, what a discovery, this collection is.”
“Terry Doyle brings a true East Coast Canada feel and understanding to his work. What may seem simplistic in his work actually makes the reader think and double-think about what his stories tell us. He is obviously a humble writer and humble man, a quality that rarely shines through in the works of many authors. Simple is not easy writing. Simple is difficult. Doyle is able to hold the attention of the reader as he tells you a story, giving you the feeling you are sitting across from him at his kitchen table. He is a writer who works within a true art form and is one to be admired.”
“In DIG, a man carries to work an expired safety helmet, and in his head he has one desire unknown even to himself: to break from fear and be loved, and to give love. Terry Doyle's stories are full of this surface industry and the precarious inner workings of decent people trying to be good in a society worn bare of protection.” - Michael Winter