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Fiction Short Stories (single Author)

Secrets Men Keep, The

by (author) Mark Sampson

Now or Never Publishing Co.
Initial publish date
Apr 2015
Short Stories (single author)
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2015
    List Price

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The Secrets Men Keep is about the secrets men keep, and the comic possibilities that arise from our shifting sense of what it means to be a man. Taking an off-kilter approach to revealing the intricacies of modern relationships--relationships that can be at times funny, sensual, or tense--it's about the lies that men tell themselves and others to keep their dreams and identities afloat.

About the author

Mark Sampson is the author of five previous books: the novels The Slip, Sad Peninsula and Off Book; the short story collection The Secrets Men Keep; and the poetry collection Weathervane. Mark has published many short stories and poems in literary journals across Canada. He is a frequent book reviewer for Quill & Quire, Canadian Notes & Queries and other publications. Born and raised on Prince Edward Island, he currently lives and writes in Toronto.

Mark Sampson's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Offering sly comic pokes and affable satire, this memorable collection of 13 stories frequently highlights the significant gap between the empire-building ambitions of men and their humdrum and hemmed-in middle-management realities. An astute but not particularly harsh or misanthropic observer, Sampson (Sad Peninsula) dwells in fruitful and intriguing ways on the concessions, compromises, and "good enoughs" of adult heterosexual masculinity. In "The Man Room," a circle of stoop-shouldered suburban dads take a stand in the name of manhood by capturing a rapist, and in the delightful title story, the narrator recalls a trip with his immediate family to Michigan to attend the funeral of an uncle whose decades of stealthy alcoholism impress him. The stories "Invasion Complex" and "Itaewon" offer searing portraits of young guys spreading "the global contagion of English," whose relations with Korean women are befuddled at best and predatory at worst. Even when Sampson delves into the criminal spheres of cybercrime and organized crime in "Malware" and "In the Middle," respectively, he illustrates how commonplace fantasies of alpha-male conquest can go awry and the usual nine-to-five grind. (Apr.) ~ Publishers Weekly

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