"Marta's not in mourning, she's in love." So begins the title story in this stellar first collection of witty, wry, darkly humourous writing. Like Marta, many of the characters swing between love and mourning, blurring boundaries with their stubborn hearts and bones. Set chiefly in Nova Scotia, the book begins and ends with trilogies of linked stories, the first about grief and death-the death of a father, the death of a mother, and the death of a relationship-and the last about family and "strange relations." Karen Smythe's stories are both startlingly contemporary and richly furnished with the desolation and consolation of memory. Stubborn Bones is a nuanced, wise, and witty debut collection by a remarkably accomplished writer.
About the author
Karen Smythe is the author of a short-story collection, Stubborn Bones, and Figuring Grief, a groundbreaking analysis of the depiction of mourning in fiction by Mavis Gallant, Alice Munro, Virginia Woolf, Edna O'Brien, and others. Her stories have also appeared in Grain, the Fiddlehead, the Antigonish Review, and the Gaspereau Review. She lives in Guelph, Ontario.