A vibrant debut story collection about loneliness and love, privilege and poverty, addiction and isolation - the search for connection and meaning in a workaday world.
For fans of Heather O'Neill's Daydreams of Angels, Ottessa Moshfegh's Homesick for Another World, and Carmen Maria Machado's Her Body and Other Parties, Nowadays and Lonelier features a cascade of characters seeking connection in the darkest alleyways and meaning in the mundane. In these pages, a ballet dancer navigates complex family ties that are frayed by addiction; a young girl discovers sex and sexuality in the nineties in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside; a lover sojourns in Egypt and exacts an unexpected revenge; and a barista and a painter weather an apartment fire in Montreal. The collection is concerned with the contrast experienced by working- and middle-class millennials, between access to education and art compared to a relative lack of access to secure jobs and housing - and how these conditions leave many straddling a world where mental health, addictions, and sex work are daily realities as they try to carve out space for themselves in times that are increasingly alienating.
Nowadays and Lonelier, Carmella Gray-Cosgrove's debut story collection, features vivid portraits of unsure yet hopeful people struggling to find a good life in a hard world.
About the author
Carmella Gray-Cosgrove was raised in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver on the traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples and lives in St. John's, on Ktaqmkuk, the traditional territory of the Mi'kmaq and the ancestral homelands of the Beothuk, with her partner and their child. Her fiction has appeared in Prism international, Broken Pencil, Freefall Magazine, the Antigonish Review, and elsewhere. Nowadays and Lonelier was shortlisted for the NLCU Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers. She was the 2020 writer in residence for Riddle Fence Magazine. She holds a master's degree in geography from Memorial University and was an F.A. Aldrich Fellow.
There is a flavour to each story in this collection, the terroir of the places Carmella Gray-Cosgrove writes, evident in the poignancy of the words she chooses. Gray-Cosgrove draws us in with stories about human appetites and failures, of realities, dreams and the places in between. Birds, coyotes, and creatures from the sea share pages with drug-taking teenagers, fallible and loving parents, and characters battered by and battling against poverty. These stories are steeped in wit, empathy, and intelligence and create an intimate conversation about class, desire, and the beauty of being alive. A breathtaking and tender debut. -Susie Taylor, author of Even Weirder Than Before
Nowadays and Lonelier is a dazzling collection of stories that made me feel so much. I marvelled at Gray-Cosgrove's command of language in these vivid explorations of what it means to feel connection, isolation, and hope. -Zoe Whittall, author of The Spectacular
Carmella Gray-Cosgrove's work is profoundly intimate. It names sensations you have experienced but never articulated, even to yourself. She pairs immersive, embodied description with shrewd investigations of how structural inequity informs our interpersonal relationships. It's so rare to find an author who's able to weave humour into work that is both richly descriptive and full of depth. Gray-Cosgrove does it guilelessly in Nowadays and Lonelier. -Eva Crocker, author of All I Ask
Carmella Gray-Cosgrove's Nowadays and Lonelier is the kind of story collection that comes along once or twice in a decade, if we're lucky. The kind of collection that reroutes the circuitry of the short story so it hits the heart and brain and gut like a psychedelic. Graceful as Swan Lake, dangerous as a syringe discarded in the bushes where children play. These are very tough, desperately tender stories that stick to your insides. Busting with compassion and stylistic bravado. Think: Joy Williams, Mary Gaitskill, Elise Levine and Zsuzsi Gartner. If you find yourself lonelier nowadays, read this. I promise you will be altered, astonished. -Lisa Moore, author of Something for Everyone