FINALIST FOR THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S AWARD FOR FICTION
Bill Gaston’s characteristic keen insight and wit dazzle in this new collection. Here, we see the world through the prism of unfamiliar perspectives: a bank executive whose excellent sex life might in fact be killing her, an amorous tree surgeon better attuned to the values of his “patients” than to other people, a vacationing schizophrenic wary of his housemates, a pizza-delivery boy convinced he’s witnessed magic—all struggling with the world as they see it.
This versatile collection—at times darkly playful, absurd, or shockingly real—illustrates how we can fail to understand the simplest of truths and how we are trapped by the peculiarities of our own points of view.
In Gaston’s hands, the outlandish becomes comprehensible and everyday life begins to look strange. What unifies these stories and their characters is the underlying faith in the humanity of even the most dangerously misguided among us.
Brazenly entertaining, but just as often heartbreaking, Juliet Was a Surprise portrays the humour and unfairness of life through the blunders of quixotic men and women with whom we can’t help but sympathize.
BILL GASTON is the author of seven novels and six collections of short fiction. He teaches at the University of Victoria and is the winner of numerous awards, including the 2003 inaugural Timothy Findley Lifetime Achievement Award and the CBC/Canadian Literary Award. Mount Appetite, one of his collections of short stories, was shortlisted for the 2002 Giller Prize, and another, Gargoyles, was shortlisted for the 2006 Governor General’s Award for Fiction. His most recent novel, The World, won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and his most recent story collection, Juliet Was a Surprise, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction.
“A celebration of the oddness of every life. . . the stories are poised, always, at the cusp of laughter, heartbreak and mystery. To read them is a heart-opening experience.” - Vancouver Sun