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Fiction Short Stories (single Author)

What Can You Do

by (author) Cynthia Flood

Initial publish date
Aug 2017
Short Stories (single author)
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2017
    List Price

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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.

About the author

Cynthia Flood’s stories have won numerous awards, including The Journey Prize and National Magazine awards, and have been widely anthologized. Her novel Making a Stone of the Heart was nominated for the City of Vancouver Book Prize in 2002. She is the author of the acclaimed short story collections The Animals in Their Elements (1987) and My Father Took a Cake to France (1992). She lives on Vancouver’s East side.

Cynthia Flood's profile page

Editorial Reviews


“ 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


“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

Other titles by Cynthia Flood