A New York Times Editors' Choice and an Oprah's Book Club Summer Reading Pick
In this brilliant new collection, Scotiabank Giller Prize and Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize nominee Alix Ohlin skillfully displays the full range of human emotions through the subtly powerful dramas of everyday life.
In "You Are What You Like" a young couple finds their life derailed by the arrival of a hard-partying old friend. In "Robbing the Cradle" Lisette does everything she can to give her husband a baby, committing an act of desperation. In "The Idea Man" Beth, a divorcee, falls in love with a man who lies for fun. And in the incredible title story, Kathleen finds herself sitting at the hospital bedside of a man she had planned to divorce, comforted by the woman she went out of her way to hurt. These characters are divorced and beginning to date again, childless and longing for children, married and aching for more. Often unexpected and unsettling, always fascinating, Signs and Wonders showcases a young writer of remarkable range and emotional depth.
ALIX OHLIN is the author of four books, most recently the novel Inside, which was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Best American Short Stories, and many other publications. Born and raised in Montreal, she lives in Vancouver, where she chairs the creative writing program at the University of British Columbia.
It’s hard to resist devouring the stories at first, but upon approaching the last few with a sense of hesitation one does slow down, wanting to draw out the pleasure as long as possible.
I’ll come right out and say it: Read this!
… wise and whimsical … there's plenty of playfulness and warmth throughout these stories, but there's plenty of insight, too.
... by the time you're through reading Signs and Wonders you'll be fully under Ohlin's spell ...
... impressive ... with enjoyably mordant humour and a surgical hand with relationship dissection, Ohlin examines the corrosion-prone faces of love.
These closely worked stories about life on earth -- they soar. They do.
... intense and beautifully shaped ...
... a writer who should be famous ...
... conversational, irreverent, and stealthily humorous ... [Ohlin blends] pathos with acerbic wit ...
Unputdownable. It's the literary equivalent of a Paul Simon album: crisp, focused, lovely, and lasting. Ohlin's characters are so genuine you'll be reminded of people you know, love, and hate.
... winning ... tightly crafted ... these snippets of life’s upheavals highlight Ohlin’s keen eye for observation.