It’s hard to worry about the future when you’re laughing at the hilarious absurdity of daily life.
The days we live go by like slugs eating their way through leaves; everything changes, yet nothing changes, and the years soon accumulate. Who doesn’t read their daily horoscope, searching for guidance about what’s to come, how to live? What is life, but ordinary and special days, time passing, humour, sex, death, and love (making it all bearable)? All these are repeated gestures that run through The Days, a kind of absurdist guidebook made up of ninety unconventional, very short stories collected in three tight sections. This is fiction that thinks, fiction that cuts to the chase, told with Farrant’s trademark humour and acerbic wit. Her miniatures gracefully articulate the contemporary zeitgeist: anxiety about the future coupled with absurd mundanity. Somehow, always, Farrant captures the moments that buoy us up, crystallizing the experiences keeping us from being overwhelmed while calling our attention to overwhelming truths.
Let yourself be excited and delighted. Farrant’s artfully spare stories – averaging a couple of paragraphs each – offer enough food for thought (and mood) to keep you going for months. Dip in occasionally to be reminded of the strangeness of us, or read from beginning to end and immerse yourself in a slightly skewed version of reality – one in which people are frank and the world is unforgiving as it shimmers like light on water, sometimes blinding, always dazzling.
M.A.C. Farrant is the author of fourteen works of fiction, non-fiction, memoir, and over one hundred book reviews and essays for the Vancouver Sun and the Globe & Mail. Her memoir, My Turquoise Years, which she adapted for the stage, premiered April 4 to May 4, 2013 at the Arts Club Theatre’s Granville Island Stage in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her novel, The Strange Truth About Us: A Novel of Absence, was chosen by The Globe & Mail as a Best Book of 2012. The World Afloat: Miniatures, a collection of very short fiction, won the City of Victoria Book Butler Book Prize for 2014.
A full-time writer currently residing in North Saanich, B.C., Farrant’s work as been nominated for many awards, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, National Magazine Awards, Victoria Book Prize, and two Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards for her play My Turquoise Years, among others. She has taught writing at the University of Victoria, Victoria School of Writing, and Banff Centre for the Arts, and was writer-in-residence at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.
"[The Strange Truth About Us] ... Delightful and disturbing in all the best ways, this book addresses that which mostly remains unspoken in ways that have seldom been spoken before."
– Globe & Mail Best Book of 2012
"The miniatures of The World Afloat are as wild as colorful birthday helium balloons released into a hurricane; small points of cheerful light whirled in a dark and violent wind … Like poems, or recalled fragments of dreams, these kinds of stories are meant to resonate, rather than reveal, to stir up the mental sludge, flush out the septic tank of the subconscious, to make us feel more truly aware and alive."
– John Moore, BC Bookworld