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Fiction Short Stories (single Author)

The Dead Are More Visible

by (author) Steven Heighton

Knopf Canada
Initial publish date
May 2012
Short Stories (single author), Medical, 21st Century
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2012
    List Price

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An astoundingly original and tightly curated collection of stories from the award-winning author of Every Lost Country and Afterlands.

It is remarkably easy to accept Al Purdy's assertion that Steven Heighton—renowned for his craftsmanship, risk-taking, insight and range—"is one of the best writers of his generation, maybe the best." The Dead Are More Visible highlights his strengths at writing fiction that does not sacrifice humour, depth and emotion for the sake of brevity. These 11 profoundly moving and finely crafted stories encapsulate wildly divergent themes of love and loss, containment and exclusion. In the title story, a parks & rec worker faces an assailant who does not leave the altercation intact. A medical researcher and his claustrophobic fiancée are locked in the trunk of their car after a failed carjacking (the thief can't drive standard). A young woman enters a pharmaceutical trial in the outer reaches of suburbia and slips between sleeping and waking with increasingly alarming ease. Pairing the cultural acuity of Lost in Translation with the compassion and reach of The World According to Garp, Heighton breathes new life into the short story, a genre that is finally coming into its own.

About the author


  • Short-listed, Trillium Book Award

Contributor Notes

STEVEN HEIGHTON was the author of the novel Afterlands, which was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice along with a best book of the year selection in ten publications in Canada, the US, and the UK; and has been optioned for film. He is also the author of The Shadow Boxer, a Canadian bestseller and a Publishers Weekly Book of the Year. His work has been translated into ten languages, and his poems and stories have appeared in the London Review of Books, Poetry, Tin House, The Walrus, Europe, Agni, Poetry London, Brick, Best English Stories, and many others. Heighton has won several awards and has been nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Trillium Award, and Britain’s W.H. Smith Award. He died in 2022.

Editorial Reviews

Trillium Award Finalist (2013)
“A collection as powerful as the much earlier linked stories of Flight Paths of the Emperor…. He has retained his ironic intelligence as well as a rugged quality that’s fascinating and hard to define…. A delight…. Genius…. Funny, scary, sad.... The Dead Are More Visible is a fine collection of fictions, well worth reading.”
The Globe and Mail
“Short stories are the ideal format for Steven Heighton...these tiny, distilled gems pack a...punch.”
Readers Digest
“Heighton is indisputably one of Canada’s most important literary talents.”
The Kingston Whig-Standard
“To say Heighton is an immensely talented writer is true enough but insufficient.... As good as the fiction of Alice Munro and Mavis Gallant. Or to be more blunt, Heighton is as good a writer as Canada has ever produced.... The best stories in this book do what only great art can do: make us feel more fiercely alive.”
National Post
“Both a fine poet and one of the better short story writers in this country.... As with any good writer, it’s easy to miss or take for granted all the things Heighton does well…. Work of this quality is a real achievement.”
Toronto Star

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