Brilliant experimental, surrealist fiction from the award-winning author of Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew
A wonderful dream and a horrific nightmare, a fuzzy consciousness of pain and family, Pockets is a novel of fragments — both literally and figuratively. In a series of prose-poem chapters, the nameless narrator, in a largely Jewish 1960s suburb in the northern reaches of Toronto, repeatedly enters the world, as if for the first time. His landscape is one of trilobite fossils, bicycles with banana seats, Red Skelton, and overwhelming loss. Among shadows that both comfort and threaten, a brother who drifts through the sky, he finds his narrative full of pockets of emptiness he can’t help but try to fill.
A heartbreakingly personal and profound work, Pockets redefines the novel, delivering infinite scope in something diminutive, pocket-sized. Every reading brings new revelations.
About the author
Stuart Ross published his first literary pamphlet on the photocopier in his dad’s office one night in 1979. Through the 1980s, he stood on Toronto’s Yonge Street wearing signs like “Writer Going To Hell,” selling over 7,000 poetry and fiction chapbooks. A long-time literary press activist, he is a founding member of the Meet the Presses collective, Editor at Mansfield Press, and for eight years was Fiction & Poetry Editor at This Magazine. He is the author of two collaborative novels, two story collections, seven poetry books, and the novel Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew, which co-won the 2012 Mona Elaine Adilman Award for Fiction on a Jewish Theme. He has also published a collection of essays, Confessions of a Small Press Racketeer, and co-edited the anthology Rogue Stimulus: The Stephen Harper Holiday Anthology for a Prorogued Parliament. Buying Cigarettes for the Dog won the 2010 ReLit Award for Short Fiction. His most recent poetry book is You Exist. Details Follow. He lives in Cobourg, Ontario.
- Short-listed, Eric Hoffer Book Award
“Each brief page of this brief, surrealistic novel brims with the unexpected, the astonishing, the odd … Pockets is a beautiful little book.” — The Murdock
“These untitled micro-chapters fit together like Lego blocks built by William S. Bourroughs and his wild Brion Gysin friend. Stuart Ross simply never fails to delight, surprise and inform as he entertains … Today’s Book of Poetry doesn’t really know any other poets like Stuart Ross. But if you were to take Kurt Vonnegut’s imagination, a Garrison Keillor sense of the storyteller and candy twisted it all together with a generous dose of wit and wisdom from Randy Newman and his melodious lamentations, you would be nearing the mark.” — Today’s Book of Poetry
“Pockets pioneers a new novel form, giving readers the opportunity to become the protagonist, to know what it feels like to be the singular person that is the cumulation of all these moments and memories stacked on top of each other, each one distorted by the last.” — Prairie Fire
Other titles by Stuart Ross
I Am Claude Francois and You Are a Bathtub
Motel of the Opposable Thumbs
The Poetry of Nelson Ball
Sparrow Came Down Resplendent, A
Further Confessions of a Small Press Racketeer
A Hamburger in a Gallery
My Planet of Kites
Our Days In Vaudeville
You Exist. Details Follow.
Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew