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Fiction Gay

Everything Is Awful and You're a Terrible Person

by (author) Daniel Zomparelli

Arsenal Pulp Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2017
Gay, Short Stories (single author)
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2017
    List Price

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Winner, ReLit Award; Finalist, Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize (BC Book Prizes)

A YouTube star becomes famous after he documents his breakup online. An anxious, lactose-intolerant office worker obsesses over a stranger who says "Nice shorts, bro" to him in passing. A couple wants to open up their relationship to a ghost. A monster just wants to find love in his human skin.

In these unconventional, interconnected stories--the first work of fiction by acclaimed poet Daniel Zomparelli, editor-in-chief of Poetry Is Dead magazine--gay men look for love in any way possible. From social media, to finding someone within a dream, the ways in which these characters search for joy becomes both limitless and overwhelming. With wry abandon and a beguiling heart, Everything Is Awful is a deadpan, tragicomic exploration of love, desire, and dysfunction in the twenty-first century.


About the author

Daniel Zomparelli is editor-in-chief of Poetry Is Dead magazine and recipient of the 2011 Pandora’s Collective Publishers of Magazines Award. The fourth issue of Poetry Is Dead, “Vancouver: Influence,” was a key feature at the Vancouver 125 Poetry Conference in 2011. Zomparelli is also program coordinator for the Megaphone magazine Community Creative Writing Program, which offers free creative writing classes for low-income and homeless people. He writes for and works with several magazines across Vancouver, including Geist, Megaphone, Sad Mag, Granville Online and, formerly, Adbusters. Davie Street Translations is Zomparelli’s first book of poems.

Daniel Zomparelli's profile page


  • Winner, ReLit Award
  • Short-listed, Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize (BC Book Prizes)

Editorial Reviews

Everything is Awful and You're a Terrible Person is inventive and incisive, a compulsively readable and often hilarious collection of linked stories about the anxiety of intimacy and connection. A weird, perfect gem of a book. -Zoe Whittall, author of The Best Kind of People

Brilliant is not too strong a word to describe Everything Is Awful and You're a Terrible Person. Funny, wicked, moving, profane and sad come to mind too. This is a bomb of a book wrapped up in 32 short stories ... It feels like an explosion of fresh air. -Vancouver Sun

Zomparelli's book -- like his body of work -- does the smart and risky thing of trying the same questions on for size over and over again, probing the edges of our hang-ups with agitation and admiration. -Quill and Quire

Filled with ghosts and lovers, grief and beer, funerals and bad dates, Everything is Awful and You're a Terrible Person is about the lies we tell to comfort ourselves and everybody else, the identities we create and then destroy, and the moments when human longing pushes us toward honesty. Crystal clear, cynical, and incisive, Daniel Zomparelli's stories will take up permanent residence in your head.
-Jen Sookfong Lee, author of The Conjoined and The End of East

This is admittedly the first book I've read since Grindr was invented. Everything is Awful and You're a Terrible Person seduced me out of a sex app death march with writing so dreamy, heartbreaking, funny, and like Zomparelli himself: tender as hell. -John Early, comedian

It's called Everything is Awful and You're a Terrible Person and it delivers, tongue-in-cheek.
-The Globe and Mail

Written in flat, earnest prose reminiscent of the 'Alt-Lit' movement, Zomparelli's stories pull humor from the banalities of lives devoted to anonymous sex, cellphone apps and social media.
-New York Times

Juicy, funny, and thoroughly absorbing ... This book, full of hookups and texts and chemically enhanced evenings, is about a particular kind of modern gay experience, and there is a pleasure to seeing oneself, one's city, one's generation laid out in such buoyant, fun prose.
-Winnipeg Review

Daniel Zomparelli completely reinvents the short story in this sardonic debut collection. Through quipping prose that fuses poetry and digital communication, Zomparelli distinctively establishes himself as a zeitgeist writer to heed. -Vivek Shraya, author of even this page is white and She of the Mountains

At times outrageous but always unflinchingly honest. -Broken Pencil

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