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What to read after "Cat Person"...

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Did you read "Cat Person," by Kristen Roupenian in The New Yorker, and cringe with recognition and/or have all kinds of complicated feelings and responses whose instigation is one of the most miraculous things fiction can do? If you're looking for more terrific short stories along those lines, we recommend the following collections....
A Three-Tiered Pastel Dream

A Three-Tiered Pastel Dream

Short Stories
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback

A career-focused woman finds her life taken off course by an unexpected pregnancy and its challenging aftermath; a troubled doctor abandons her family on her daughter’s birthday, the three-tiered pastel layer cake in the passenger seat beside her; a young mother must contend with how to explain her husband’s suicide to their child. In her first story collection, Lesley Trites digs bravely into the dilemmas faced by contemporary women who must be everything to everyone, as they navigate the t …

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The Whole Beautiful World

The Whole Beautiful World

Stories
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

Original, witty, and subtle, these stories feature characters who must navigate life in a small town, and will appeal to fans of Miriam Toews and Kathleen Winter.

 

This collection of beautifully crafted short stories features complex characters whose internal struggles manifest in their most intimate relationships, told by a writer with a compassionate eye.

 

A narrator watches her social sphere deteriorate after her boyfriend’s rough-housing leads to his best friend’s tragic paralysis. Childho …

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Glass Beads

Glass Beads

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

These short stories interconnect the friendships of four First Nations people — Everett Kaiswatim, Nellie Gordon, Julie Papequash, and Nathan (Taz) Mosquito — as the collection evolves over two decades against the cultural, political, and historical backdrop of the 90s and early 2000s.

 

These young people are among the first of their families to live off the reserve for most of their adult lives, and must adapt and evolve. In stories like “Stranger Danger”, we watch how shy Julie, though …

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Excerpt

From “Stranger Danger”

 

Nellie was struggling with an English paper. She hated the class.  Her professor had intoned at the beginning of class: “There are no right answers, only answers that you had to argue for.”  Nellie hated open-ended shit.  She just wanted to know which argument would give her an A.

 

She called Everett.  There was no answer.  He had no answering machine but he had call display and it told him how many times she called.  Right now if he would see: twelve.

 

She had been angry six calls ago.  Now she was just disappointed.  And horny.   

 

She opened up her political science binder, it was filled with photocopied readings.  She had to read about Aristotle even though she’d already read about him in Philosophy.  It must be nice to straddle two subjects with the same boring writing.  She went to the kitchen to refill her tea.  She was drinking green tea these days, it was supposed to fire up her metabolism by getting rid of all the free radicals lurking in her body.  She didn’t know what those were but Oprah said they were bad.  Nellie hadn’t lost a pound but then again it was hard to eat healthy when the entire apartment smelled like pizza.

 

Nellie padded into the kitchen and saw a pizza container on the counter.  She squelched a scream of frustration.  She opened the pizza box; it was sausage and pepperoni.  The top of the box was rimmed in dark where the fat had soaked into the cardboard.

 

Nellie spit on the pizza and spread the spit over the top of it with her finger.  She was closing the box carefully when the front door opened.

 

She looked around the corner as Julie stalked past her.  Nellie hurried behind her.

 

Julie sat on Nellie’s bed, her head against the wall.  Julie’s bedroom was the living room so during the day she used Nellie’s. It wasn’t the best situation but Nellie didn’t feel like giving up the extra rent money.

 

“So?”

 

“He’s ok, I guess.”

 

Nellie started small. “Did you have fun?”

 

“I guess.”

 

“Did you make out with him?”

 

“No.”

 

“Did you want to?”

 

“I dunno.  He’s so… bleh.”  Julie made a damn-I-just-stepped-in-dog-poop-and-I’m-wearing-sandals-face.

 

“Okay then.” Nellie’s disappointment was writ clear. 

 

“He wants to see me this weekend.  So I told him I work this weekend and then he’s all like what about before work and so I said yes but I don’t want to go.  He wants to go hang out at the park - what the fuck is at the park?”

 

“There’s ducks.”

 

“You and Everett ever go to the park?”

 

Nellie and Everett never went anywhere together.  It was her house or his.  Sometimes she saw him at the bar and she would wave to him and he would act like he was gonna come over but he never got to where she was sitting.

 

One time she asked him to meet her at Place Riel at the University.  She saw other girls meet their boyfriends there.  She had explained to him how to get there, walked him through the streets one by one.  He never showed up.  He told her that he made it to the University Bridge but then some woman give him a weird look which made him feel weird so he turned around and went home.

 

“I don’t like ducks,” Nellie replied.

 

“There wasn’t a single Indian in that place.  Me and a bunch of white people.   I felt like everyone was looking at us and I couldn’t stop looking at his arms.  He had this blonde hair all over them.  Like lots of it.” Julie made a face that she saved for the smell of rotten garbage.

 

“That’s how white people are, I guess.” How would Nellie know? She’d never studied one up close. “Was he nice?”

 

“He asked me if I liked being called Indian or Native.”

 

“Always say Native.”

 

“I know that, Nellie.  But I don’t have to answer that question if I’m with an Indian guy.”

 

Nellie wanted to argue from the perspective of diversity and being open minded but she was tired and felt nauseated from the smell of pizza.  So, they walked down to the Rainbow cinema where movies were three dollars on Sunday afternoons.  As they stood in line for popcorn, Julie laughed suddenly and sharply.

 

“What’s so funny?”

 

“I was thinking about the date.  You know when he asked me if I liked Native or Indian.”

 

“What did you say?”

 

“I asked him if he liked white or honky.”

 

Nellie rolled her eyes as Julie laughed at her own joke.

 

When they got home, Nellie checked the phone: Ball, N. had called.   She showed it to Julie who shrugged and then turned on the TV.  Nellie went back to her homework.

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For All The Men (and Some of The Women) I've Known

For All The Men (and Some of The Women) I've Known

edition:Paperback

For All The Men (and Some of The Women) I’ve Known explores the complexity of relationships, from love to betrayal. In the book’s unforgettable stories, Botha creates characters so authentic, readers are convinced that they know the characters personally. Botha excels at blending literary techniques with popular zeitgeist, creating stories that read like a combination of Liar by Lynn Crosbie with Lena Dunham’s "Girls." With her signature honesty, Botha exposes the desire for human connecti …

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Barrelling Forward

Barrelling Forward

Stories
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

Winner, Canadian Authors Emerging Writer Award

Finalist, Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers

Shortlisted for the NLCU Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers, Barrelling Forward is a brilliantly crafted debut collection from Newfoundland’s newest literary star.

Eva Crocker sees life in sharper focus than the rest of us. The objects, rituals, and scenes of everyday life take on an almost mythic quality in these stories, even while remaining intimately recognizable to us all. Crocker peers …

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Excerpt

The Lodge

“Your mother thought you might like to have these for your new place.” Walt’s father had arrived unannounced, holding a set of pressed curtains in a grocery bag.

“You’re cooking,” his father said. Walt realized he’d brought the spatula to the door with him.

“Just breakfast.” Walt heard the shower shut off, the pipes stuttering in the wall.

“There’s someone here?”

“A friend. He’s helping me move.”

His father passed him the package, little beads of rain still on the bag. Walt’s father edged his way into the apartment as Walt stepped backwards to make room for him.

“New windows?” His father looked around in the living room.

“It’s renovated.” Walt skimmed a hand along the sharp hairs growing on his jawbone. He was aware of the heat spreading across his face.

“Good, it’s easier to keep a new place clean. We drove by and saw you didn’t have any curtains up and your mother thought you might like to have some.”

The door to the bathroom opened, the hall flooding with warm damp air and the smell of shampoo. Trent was wearing jeans and a t-shirt but his feet were bare. His hair was dripping, making dark circles on his shirt.

“Trent, this is my Dad.”

Trent took three steps down the hall and held out his hand. His feet leaving wet smudges on the floor. Walt’s back was against the closet door, which was made of thin strips of wood held together with a rubbery plastic. The door creaked against the weight of his body.

“I’m Trent.” Trent extended his hand. He was taller and broader than Walt’s father.

Suddenly, the apartment filled with a high-pitched bleating. At first it sounded like a bird but the louder it got the more mechanical it sounded. For a moment the three men stood staring at each other, paralyzed by the sound. Trent had dropped Walt’s father’s hand but they were still standing close enough to be touching. Walt held the curtains protectively against his chest. Trent’s dog barked on the back deck.

“It’s the fire alarm,” Trent said. “There’s something burning. Do you smell something burning?”

“It’s toast. I was making toast under the broiler,” Walt replied before darting out of the room.

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Don't I Know You?

Don't I Know You?

Stories
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
tagged : literary

#1 bestseller in Canada: a debut novel-in-stories that follows one woman's life from age 16 to 60, and what happens when certain celebrities start turning up in her private life.

What if some of the artists we feel as if we know--Meryl Streep, Neil Young, Bill Murray--turned up in the course of our daily lives?

This is what happens to Rose McEwan, an ordinary woman who keeps having strange encounters with famous people. In this engrossing, original novel-in-stories, we follow her life from age 17, …

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Eating Habits of the Chronically Lonesome

Eating Habits of the Chronically Lonesome

edition:eBook

Eating Habits Of The Chronically Lonesome will leave you struck, yet, exhilarated. The exploration of starvation and consumption is at the core of each character; what does our hunger reveal about the state of our soft hearts? Ellen jumps rope on rooftops in the searing Korean sun. She has sworn off carbohydrates until she can find pants that fit. Damon resents his two dollar chow mein bought on a Montreal curb. There are half-eaten poutines on living room floors and greasy corn kernels stuck to …

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Hideout Hotel

Hideout Hotel

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

In a mining town edging the Australian Nullarbor, Gina sits at the bar and devotes herself to the heart of what she's trying to escape. After finishing a grueling cross-Canada tour, Dana, an alt-rock musician, flees to the Yukon to avoid her band's rising fame and risks sabotaging it all. In a small West Coast fishing town, a boat-dwelling mother struggles to manage a friend's cancer, mortality and a failing marriage. A novella, "Sung Spit," chronicles Cassiopeia's adolescence and youngadulthood …

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