Whether we are eavesdropping on the imaginative Saturdays of a Portuguese cleaning lady or living through a divorced woman’s search for the elusive orgasm. Norma Harrs manages in this collection of short stories to absorb the essence of her narrator’s psyche with the clarity of a good actress who gets under the very skin of her characters.
Love, either the absence of or yearning for, is the theme that links that stories in this collection together. Love for a family member, a friend, a lover, or a husband, and sometimes that lack of reciprocity, is the element that gives the stories poignancy and force.
The variety in these stories keeps the reader always guessing. The author doesn’t limit us to the easy answers, but brilliantly provokes us to enlarge our own landscape.
Normal Harrs was born and raised in Ireland. She came to Canada when she was a young woman, settling in Winnipeg where she married and raised two sons. It was there that she pursued her interest in theatre, performing on the professional stage. She also became a freelance broadcaster and writer working for the CBC and various newspapers across the country.
After moving to Toront in 1972, she wrote for the Globe and Mail and other Canadian newspapers. She also wrote four plays, three of which have been performed professionally. Her first novel, A Certain State of Mind, was published in 1980. Her short stories have been published in literary journals as well as in newspapers.
"Harrs knows about people and love, and it shows."
"There's a wonderfully satisfying sense of the delicate art of eavesdropping."
"Her great strength in short-story writing is perhaps in bringing the talents of journalist and actor to the development of her characters' psyche."
"Amid the cacophony of experimental writing emanating from Canadian small presses these days, Norma Harris' Love Minus One & Other Stories strikes a distinctive note."