A woman trapped in a plastic suit sprays poisons onto schoolyards in the deserted small hours of morning. Another aims her rage over the loss of her daughter to cancer at a small group of children on Christmas Eve. A teenage boy sees an apparition that may or may not be his estranged father. When the seemingly stable surfaces of their lives rupture, the characters in Scott’s award-winning collection discover in their efforts to cope an intimacy on which they hadn’t bargained: a disturbing intimacy with the self. Yet they also find strange moments of grace in things as small as a butter tart, as fragile as a coloured egg.
About the author
Barbara Joan Scott's first book, The Quick, won the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize and the Howard O'Hagan Award for Best Collection of Short Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Henry Kreisel Award for Best First Book. In 2015 she received the Lois Hole Award for Editorial Excellence. Her debut novel, The Taste of Hunger, will be published by Freehand Books in 2022. She lives in Calgary.
- Winner, The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize
“The strength of these tales is their grasp of death’s mysterious workings on the living, both for better and for worse. The marvel is that when [Scott’s] subtle knowledge begins to emerge, it feels as if you’re finding it within yourself. The best of these stories shine probing light onto unresolved sorrows and bitterness, illumine what has been hidden, and help lay it to rest.”
Globe and Mail
“These 8 delicately wrought tales touch upon the minutiae of daily life with a skill and compassion that is sorely lacking in much of today’s ‘new writing.’ There is the touch of Munro in Scott’s writing, but the voice and the style are all her own. Confident, subtle and visceral, The Quick should not be missed.”