Ladykiller is the astonishing debut collection of seven smart stories from an exciting new voice in Canadian literature. Charlotte Gill is a brilliant young writer who is not afraid to stare down the truth and shame the devil. She conjures compelling stories about escape, self-sabotage, and the power of unconscious desire. A couple plots against a crying baby in the apartment below as their dysfunctional relationship begins to veer off course. A hot-shot scuba-diving instructor falls for a teenaged girl in a perilous Lolita-like romance. Twin sisters travel to exotic lands in search of romance in order to rescue themselves from their own dark, intense bond. A woman reconnects with the son of her father’s mistress, and together they begin an obsession with the past. A medical student embarks on an affair with a professor and discovers revolution in disastrous consequences. An unfaithful man takes his girlfriend to his ailing mother’s for Christmas, only to find himself at the crossroads of sexual impulse and mortality.
Ladykiller is peopled with characters who succumb to the allure of trouble, who find it more satisfying to ruin than create. Gill explores this terrain with empathy and wit. Shot through with comic irony and gentle satire, these are compelling stories about the foibles of the human heart. Ladykiller is a brave collection of short fiction that reveals the strange wisdom embedded in our darkest instincts.
About the author
Charlotte Gill is the author of the story collection Ladykiller, a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award and winner of the Danuta Gleed Award and the B.C. Book Prize for fiction. Her work has appeared in many Canadian magazines, Best Canadian Stories, and The Journey Prize Stories, and has been broadcast on CBC Radio. Her narrative non-fiction has been nominated for Western and National Magazine Awards. She lives in Powell River, British Columbia.
...Ladykiller lives up to the vigorous praise it has garnered. This is an impressive...start for a talented new voice on the Canadian fiction scene.
The tales are startling in their originality...Gill has a good eye for the flotsam of contemporary reality...and she uses her talent to advantage. The result is a stylish, over-the-top debut collection; fine fare for one's summer reading list.
London Free Press
... [Gill] writes with wicked black humour, keeping you wincing and laughing all in the same paragraph.
...topics and descriptive tactics are well wed to Gill's characters' sensibilities and make for some cleverly arresting observation and imagery. Her sense of satire is no less honed.
Quill & Quire
Charlotte Gill's Ladykiller runs a blazing sprint through head and heart. Read it so we can get another book of these courageously honest stories.
In Charlotte Gill's shockingly unsentimental stories, her emotional pyromaniacs hurtle towards various degress of conflagration. CAUTION: Her prose is booby-trapped with combinations of words so lethally effective they may as well be dynamite.
Like afterglow, the stories are imprinted in our minds long after they've come and gone...Ladykiller is as fresh as it is stark.
There is something both dark and tender in Ladykiller. Charlotte Gill is a wise purveyor of the heart's loyal yet capricious nature. A stylish and sassy debut.
Fast-paced and dizzying, [Gill's stories] shake you up like illegal rides at an emotional fun fair...this is a writer who knows how to spin you around until your stomach flips yet leave you wanting more.
Ladykiller is a collection of seven powerful, finely honed stories.
...Gill brings us uncomfortably close to the truth of these characters' lives – that whether or not they accept the changes, life remains indifferent to their hopes.
Crackling with a truth both brutal and tender, Ladykiller astounds and impresses with each and every carefully chosen word.
The Book Brothel
...an excellent collection...This is an intelligent, contemporary book...Every story in Ladykiller sings in its own way. Nothing should have been done better in Ladykiller. Charlotte Gill's voice is on every page, her sure eye for contemporary detail, her originality and unsentimental wit, her ability to deliver us to endings with a sense of having read tellingly about our own world. About ourselves, even. That is Charlotte Gill's authority. And that's also why, when finishing Ladykiller, I wished I had something else written by Gill to open immediately. I wanted back in.
Globe and Mail
Gill brings a dynamic and different perspective to human interaction and in doing so, demonstrates a raw vision and energy that can not be ignored.
Canadian Literature Review