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Fiction Humorous

Heaven is Small

by (author) Emily Schultz

House of Anansi Press Inc
Initial publish date
Apr 2009
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2010
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2009
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2009
    List Price

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Out of print

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Award-winning author and poet Emily Schultz offers an immensely readable, funny, and sharp novel about a man who works for a Harlequin-like publisher, and gradually discovers that he has arrived in "heaven." Like Will Ferguson's international bestseller, Happiness, Heaven is Small is a smart, satirical novel from one of our best.

Heaven is Small is the funny, layered, startling, and profound story of Gordon Small, a degree-clutching slacker and failed fiction writer. Gordon is also, we discover in the first paragraph, recently deceased - although this is "an event he failed to notice." When Gordon finds himself suddenly employed at the Heaven Book Company, the world's largest romance publisher, he begins to notice that something is odd: his routines within the company's walls, though familiar in some respects, have taken on a strange cast - stranger than is usual in the average suburban office.

With sly deadpan humour, brilliant insight into the human condition, and exceptionally beautiful writing, Schultz explores what it means to be truly alive only after you're dead.

About the author

Emily Schultz is the author of the novel Joyland and the short story collection Black Coffee Night. She is the former editor of This Magazine. Her poetry has been published in 18 different publications across Canada, including The Walrus. The Globe and Mail recently called her fiction “mesmerizing.” Schultz lives in Toronto.

Emily Schultz's profile page

Editorial Reviews

...captivating...hilarious...seems tailor-made for a Hollywood adaptation.


Don't let the presence of the grim reaper scare you: Heaven is Small is a fantastical comedy.

National Post

Heaven is Small marks a big league jump for Schultz that could translate into wide mainstream appeal.

Broken Pencil

. . . an enjoyable, fast-paced ride . . . nothing can beat Schultz's frenetic, surprising, and genuinely funny writing.


In her comic novel Heaven is Small, Toronto author Emily Schultz takes a light-hearted approach to the hereafter.

Catholic Register

Don't let the presence of the grim reaper scare you: Heaven is Small is a fantastical comedy.

Weekend Post

[Emily] Schultz's voice is stronger than ever, her storytelling tighter and her writing still replete with those trademark ziplines, surprising little protons of description that vault the reader into Schultz's unique narrative universe.

Globe and Mail

Kafkaesque . . . Sly and witty, Schultz's writing has the power to cut me up and reduce me to stitches.

The Hour

Schultz has created a delightful cast of lost souls...Heaven is Small is a keen examination of life and the afterlife, brimming with intelligence and wit.

Quill & Quire

Schultz's latest is a satire of office life, romance novels, and afterlife narratives. She has accomplished something quite remarkable here, deftly juggling all this social commentary and a rather blandly sympathetic protagonist with a sharp command of language.

Publishers Weekly

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