Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Fiction Short Stories (single Author)

Simple Recipes

by (author) Madeleine Thien

Knopf Canada
Initial publish date
May 2016
Short Stories (single author), Literary, Cultural Heritage
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2016
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2002
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


From the award-winning author of Dogs at the Perimeter, a stunning debut now repackaged as a Vintage Canada trade paperback.

Longing, familiarity, and hope fill the pages of this new edition of Madeleine Thien's collection of stories, which explore the subtle dimensions of personal connections and the bonds that are fraught with tension--deftly weaving in conflicts between generations and cultures. With a masterful insight into the relationships that define us, Thien creates a cast of true-to-life characters who are all looking for ways to make amends and come to terms with the events that have shaped their lives: whether a woman searching her past for the moment when her family lost faith in itself, two sisters who keep watch outside their former home in the hope that their long-absent mother will return, a wife who helps her husband grieve for the woman he has loved since childhood, or a daughter who reflects on the simple ritual she shared with her father and when her unconditional love for him was called into question. Compassionate and revealing, delicate and wise, these stories chart the uneven progress of love and expose the heartbreaking truths at the core of our closest bonds.

About the author

Madeleine Thien (born 1974) is a Canadian short story writer and novelist. Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, she was educated at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia. In 2001 she was awarded the Canadian Authors Association Air Canada Award for most promising Canadian writer under age 30. In 2008, she was invited to participate in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.

Madeleine Thien's profile page


  • Winner, City of Vancouver Book Award
  • Winner, VanCity Book Prize
  • Winner, BC Book Prize's Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Simple Recipes:
"Thien's gorgeous stories [are] dense with imagery . . . weighted with intention." The Vancouver Sun
"Seven spare, eloquent tales of family ties that fray but don't break. . . . Truthful and suffused with quiet ache: a welcome collection, with the Asian background presented without exoticism, as a matter-of-fact part of North American life." Kirkus Review (starred review)
"Sensuous and concrete, these stories feel near-perfect." Quill & Quire (starred review)

Other titles by Madeleine Thien

Related lists