With wit and sensitivity, these tales portray moments of suffering, confusion and discovery. Also, the reader is introduced to a wide variety of worlds, worlds that reveal Abray's deep understanding of how people engage with-and become obsessed by-activities such as Japanese kite-making, bees, daycare, alcohol, and motorcycle maintenance. How does the activity reveal the person? How the problem? Abray's stories push full-on into the world of obsessions. A new vacuum cleaner becomes a new pawn in a just-ended relationship. Riding-a-motorbike becomes the way brothers bond over their troubled relationship with their father. A wise naturalist takes the reader on a comic tour of an animal-filled mall, and a bee infestation in a kitchen forces three urban apartment-sharing youths to suddenly confront nature and their own changing relationship. Yes: in these stories, Tom Abray shows us how every human activity becomes a metaphor: for self-revelation, and for relationships that range from romantic to familial.
After growing up near Strathroy, Ontario, Tom Abray has now lived in Montreal for twenty years. He has been writing fiction and poetry since he was a teenager, and more recently he has tried his hand at filmmaking. For the past ten years, he has taught English at John Abbott College.