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Fiction Short Stories (single Author)

The Swan Suit

by (author) Katherine Fawcett

Douglas & McIntyre
Initial publish date
Mar 2020
Short Stories (single author), Contemporary Women, Literary
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2020
    List Price

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Blending banalities of everyday human routines and dilemmas with elements of fairy tales, magic, the macabre and the downright inventive, Katherine Fawcett’s fiction is anything but predictable.

In this collection, reimagined folktales appear alongside stories entirely new, serving to defamiliarize us from the undeniably odd tales we continue to pass down generation after generation, and lend a vague familiarity to the stories of Fawcett’s invention.

One of the three little pigs launches a line of high-end, easy-to-prepare, wolf broth–based meals. The Devil is on a mission to steal a child’s soul, but is distracted when he develops a massive crush on the day-care worker. A man stands in the shower contemplating his future when he discovers tiny mushrooms growing in his body’s various nooks and crannies.

Fawcett’s wry humour and prodigious imagination are an addictive mix. The weird becomes normal, and the normal, fascinating. Subverting expectations at every turn, her matter-of-fact style and narrative skill make this collection a must-read for any lover of short fiction.

About the author

Katherine Fawcett was born in Montreal, raised in Calgary, has lived in Japan, and now calls the small town of Pemberton, British Columbia home. She started her writing career as a sports reporter before venturing into freelance journalism and commercial writing. After becoming a mother and turning forty, Katherine could no longer ignore her tendency to dance fancy jigs on the boundary between real and imagined and has since turned her hand to fiction. She teaches music in Whistler, BC, and plays fiddle in a band called The Wild Irises. Her short fiction has been published in Wordworks, Event, Freefall, subTerrain, and Other Voices, and her plays have been performed by several community theatre groups.

AWARD RECOGNITION: Winner Federation of BC Writers Short Story Contest: 2008.
Winner Whistler Writes Creative Non-Fiction Award: 2008.
Winner Event Magazine Non-Fiction Contest: 2009.
Nominated for National Magazine Award for Personal Journalism: 2009.
Finalist Burnaby Writers Society "Lost and Found" Competition: 2009.
Shortlisted for Writers' Union of Canada Writing for Children Contest: 2009.
Finalist for Writers' Union of Canada Writing for Children Competition: 2009.
Honourable mention in Freefall Magazine Prose Contest: 2009. Winner Pique "Summer of Funny" Contest: 2009.
Shortlisted for Event Non-fiction Contest: 2011.
Shortlisted for Event Non-fiction Contest: 2012.
Longlisted for Carter V. Cooper/Exile Short Fiction Competition: 2014

Katherine Fawcett's profile page


  • Short-listed, ReLit Award for Short Fiction

Editorial Reviews

“United by a confident, playful voice, the stories in The Swan Suit harness the power and resonance of myth while repurposing some of its overused tropes for character development and humorous social commentary. Structurally, Fawcett’s plots unfurl rapidly in real time. The stories are predominantly action-based and take unexpected yet satisfying swerves, exuding a madcap sense of adventure while remaining grounded in character-based reality, like well-crafted fairground rides.”

Cathay Stonehouse, <i>Event Magazine</i>

“I confess, I fell hook, line and sinker for Katherine Fawcett’s brand of down-to-earth fantasy. Like Greek myths, where gods behave badly and mortals aspire and expire, these darkly witty tales offer a peek-hole into a delightfully cheery version of Hades.”

Nick Bantock, author of The Griffin and Sabine Trilogy

The Swan Suit is alive with wit and insight, sometimes very funny, and busting with beautiful, unexpected images. Here is a high-voltage imagination. Wicked and charming by turns, this collection is nothing short of magical.”

Lisa Moore, author of <i>Something for Everyone</i>

“Every one of Fawcett’s stories carries two rare gems inside: a dry, dark, rollicking hilarity and a breath-catching surprise. Clear, lean, evocative, quick (in both senses of the word), earthy, accessible, and original.”

Claudia Casper, author of <i>The Reconstruction</i>

“Fairytales and folktales collide with 21st-century feminism in Katherine Fawcett’s deviously imagined Swan Suit. With hilarity and heart she lays bare what it means to be human (or witch or devil or cat or wolf or entrepreneurial pig) in a world both ancient and evolving.”

Zsuzsi Gartner, author of <i>Better Living Through Plastic Explosives</i>

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