Dreams vanish in most of the masterful stories that make up Norma Harrs’s new collection. A young Irish girl falls in love with an older married professor and has her first date with heartache; a middle-aged woman attends her niece’s wedding and drunkenly surveys the wreck of her own life and love affairs; a young woman admires her kind and beautiful neighbour so much that she is almost drawn into a not so innocent profession …
Adversity, sometimes disaster, befalls Norma Harrs’s characters, but instead of destroying these people, it often miraculously enriches their existence, bringing them a sudden awareness of what had been wrong with their lives and inspiring them to make a fresh start.
Ms. Harrs seamlessly weaves together plot and evocative detail, wildly funny turns of events and inconsolable sadness; her stories’ earthy eroticism, their startlingly vivid dialogue and, above all, their breathtakingly original rendering of suffering and joy will remain with the reader long after the final page.
Norma Harrs came to Canada from Ireland as a young woman. She worked in the theatre for a number of years, acting as well as directing. Later, she turned to journalism and was for many years a freelance broadcaster for the CBC. She has written articles for several Canadian newspapers, including The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail. After moving from Winnipeg to Toronto, Ms. Harrs began to write plays, several of which have been performed professionally in Canada. Her novel, A Certain State of Mind, was published in 1980, and her previous collection of short stories, Love Minus One & Other Stories, was published by Hounslow Press in 1994. A number of her stories have been recorded by Telstar Records of Great Britain and her work has been broadcast on CBC Radio. Norma has two sons and lives in Toronto with her husband.
"Much of the charm of Harrs' writing rests on the knowledge that the quirky, witty, unpredictable turns life takes can be so aptly transposed to fictional worlds. Where Dreams Have Gone will have readers turning the pages late into the night."