In these twelve stories that unfold over a few hours or a weekend or five decades, adults deceive themselves about their motives—greed, desire for control, jealousy, fear, ambition. With unflinching realism reminiscent of William Trevor, Cynthia Flood exposes the failings of the human heart and, with a marvellous unsentimental brutality, leaves many a character unredeemed.
Cynthia Flood’s most recent book, Red Girl Rat Boy (Biblioasis, 2013) was shortlisted for the BC Book Prizes’ fiction award and long-listed for the Frank O’Connor award, besides appearing on “best of year” lists for Quill & Quire and January Magazine. Earlier collections are The English Stories (Biblioasis, 2009), My Father Took a Cake to France, and The Animals in their Elements. Her work has been selected six times for Best Canadian Stories, and appears often in both print and on-line literary magazines. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
PRAISE FOR WHAT CAN YOU DO
“...page-turning reading... Flood's writing is sparse and direct, and tackles the challenging topics unfolding in her stories with welcome clarity. The stories are brief, but the time it takes to mull them over is bound to be much longer... brief, engaging and entertaining...”—Vancouver Sun
“Veteran Canadian short story writer Flood isn't a household name, but should be... Flood is impeccable with invoking, with the barest of detail, the yawning gap between the archival past and the tenuous present. Her stories often feel like archeological digs, sifting down through accrued detail to reconstruct the wounded lives of her characters.”—Toronto Star
PRAISE FOR CYNTHIA FLOOD
“Complicated, passionate, genuine.”—Chatelaine
“Flood is a highly accomplished stylist, whose technique is tightly calibrated and precise... Anything superfluous is ruthlessly pared away... The stories in Red Girl Rat Boy are brief, but dense, requiring concentration and attention... [yet are] as emotionally engaging as any flat-out storyteller.”—The National Post
“Flood challenges, enlightens, disturbs... a stunning fifth book.”—The Vancouver Sun