An exhilarating collection of short fiction, Play the Monster Blind showcases the remarkably original voice of Lynn Coady, the award-winning author of Strange Heaven. Funny, poignant and smart, full of unforgettable characters, these stories explore the violence of family, the constraints of small-town life and the elusive promise of escape.
In "Ice Cream Man," an adolescent girl struggles to come to terms with her mother's death and her father's seeming indifference while conducting a secret affair with an older man from the local arena. Gerald, the young boy in "Big Dog Rage," goes to extreme and reckless measures to thwart the expectations of his parents, teachers, and the local priest, leaving his childhood friend to look longingly on. And in the title story, Bethany sees her gentle fiancé anew as she enters the raucous world of his hard-drinking family. Receiving a sharp shot to the mouth from her future sister-in-law Bethany finds her place in this clan secured.
With her incisive, resonant prose, Lynn Coady elicits laughter, sadness, and compassion. Play the Monster Blind is a keenly observed, imaginative collection from one of the most distinctive talents to arrive on Canada's literary scene in years.
Raised in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, 29-year-old Vancouver resident Lynn Coady was nominated for the 1998 Governor General's Award for Fiction and the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award for her first novel Strange Heaven. She received the Canadian Author's Association/Air Canada Award for the best writer under thirty and the Dartmouth Book and Writing Award for fiction. Coady has published a number of short stories. Her articles and reviews have appeared in several publications including Saturday Night, This Magazine, and Chatelaine. She has also written award-winning plays and a screenplay.
"Part of the delight and marvel of Coady's stories is their crazy energy: even though Play the Monster Blind is her debut collection, Coady swerves with a hardy veteran's knowing — her work is among the most noteworthy in the country." —National Post
"Stories told with uncommon dexterity and wisdom. Coady has a lively talent, writing with curiosity and warmth about the heartrending tangles of human connection." —The Globe and Mail
"Coady entertains, dazzles, instructs. Her stories manage to do what stories—do best: get at that bright kernel of things and vibrate in the imagination like light-shot gems." —The Toronto Star
"A stunning collection for the strong at heart, a more-than-worthy follow-up to her Governor-General's Award-nominated debut, Strange Heaven." —Vancouver Sun