Use Your Imagination! by Kris Bertin

Halifax-based writer Kris Bertin has won many awards for his previous short story collection, Bad Things Happen (2016, Biblioasis) and I'm sure that Use Your Imagination! (2019, Vagrant Press*) will garner its share. Composed of seven stories spread over 200 pages, these are the type of short stories you can really get into.

You and Me, Belonging by Aaron Kreuter

Toronto’s Tightrope Books continue to publish good short story collections by a very gifted group of authors. Most recently, it was Tread and Other Stories by Barry Dempster and The Colours of Birds by Rebecca Higgins. (Their reviews are here.) They were definite examples of sound literary short stories, and you may add Mr. Kreuter’s You and Me, Belonging to the list. In a little over 200 pages, there are only seven stories, so these are “long” short stories; as such, all are quite complete in themselves.… Continue reading

Two New Short Story Collections from Tightrope Books

One thing is definite about Toronto’s Tightrope Books: they know a good short story when they see one. In 2016, they published Danila Botha’s excellent collection of short stories For All of the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known which met with great success. Now I have just finished reading two more fine collections, Barry Dempster’s Tread & Other Stories and Rebecca Higgins’ The Colours of Birds.… Continue reading

Three New 2018 Titles From Breakwater Books

These three new titles from Newfoundland’s Breakwater Books have something for everyone, from very young to a more mature audience.

Peter Pan Statue, Bowring Park

The Secret of Bowring Park by Christine Gordon Manley (with illustrations by Laurel Keating) is a fairytale for all ages, not just children. It concerns two sisters, Natalie and her older sister Elizabeth. They are visiting Bowring Park in St. John’s where there is a statue of Peter Pan with other creatures embedded in the base.… Continue reading

The Pink House and Other Stories by Licia Canton

I enjoy reading short story collections, particularly when there are connections between the stories, for instance, reoccurring characters. Such is the case in Licia Canton’s The Pink House and Other Stories (2018, Longbridge Books), her second collection of short fiction.

The two main characters throughout the majority of the stories are Rita, an Italian-Canadian, and an unnamed woman who gets struck by a car outside the Bell Centre in Montreal.… Continue reading

This Time Might Be Different: Stories of Maine by Elaine Ford

the healthcare world in which I work, a “sentinel event” is defined as: “any unanticipated event in a healthcare setting resulting in death or serious physical or psychological injury to a patient or patients, not related to the natural course of the patient’s illness.”  In the day to day mundane world in which we all live, there is typically one (possibly two) sentinel-like events that physically, if not psychologically change our life course.… Continue reading

Peninsula Sinking by David Huebert

(The following review is reproduced in part by the kind permission of Naomi MacKinnon of the Consumed by Ink book review blog. – James)

at the cover of this book. It couldn’t be more stunning. With stories to match. Peninsula Sinking is David Huebert‘s first short story collection. He has won the CBC Short Story Prize, the Sheldon Currie Fiction Prize, and the Walrus Poetry Prize, and is the author of one poetry collection We Are No Longer the Smart Kids in Class (which I haven’t read).… Continue reading