Balancing wisdom and innocence, joy and foreboding, each story in The Middle Stories leads us to surprising places. A frog doles out sage advice to a plumber infatuated with a princess, a boy falls hopelessly in love with a monkey, and a man with a hat keeps apocalyptic thoughts at bay by resolving to follow a plan that he admits he won't stick to.
Globe and Mail critic Russell Smith has described Heti's stories as cryptic fairy tales without morals at the end, but really the morals are in the quality of the telling and in the details disclosed along the way. Look where you weren't going to look, think what you wouldn't have thought, Heti seems to say, and meaning itself gains more meaning, more dimensions. Heti's stories are not what you expect, but why did you expect that anyway?