Shortlisted, Upper Canada Brewer's Writer's Craft Award
Shortlisted, Relit Awards
From the Jacket
Populated by people harboring fixations, the stories in Jan Thornhill's first collection of short fiction for adults are powerful and controlled. A woman tries to woo a taxidermist with roadkill. Another revels in auras she sees rising from the tracks of wild animals while oblivious to her own abuse of cows. One character, resentful of the thrill experienced by her criminal boyfriend when committing a break-and-entry, rearranges the contents of a stranger's refrigerator. A woman, betrayed by her husband, offers freedom to her suicidal goldfish. A mushroom-gathering woman mistakes a one-eyed bear hunter as a romantic prospect.
With an acute ear and a facility for evocative prose frequently interspersed with off-kilter humor, Thornhill writes with a remarkable clarity and compassion. Wildlife figures strongly in this collection - not surprising to anyone familiar with Thornhill's children's books, which she both writes and illustrates - but these are gritty, "desperately beautiful" stories of deftly created people teetering on the edge.
"...striking debut...intricate and unsettling..."
Globe & Mail
"...sad, poignant, and quirky...articulate and provocative..."
Quill & Quire
"Thornhill's skill as a writer is evident. She exacts complete control over her narratives and her prose is...strikingly evocative..."
"All have a lightness of touch that conceals genuinely original humour, combined with a sense of control that paces and moderates the darker tinges, of which there are many."
Canadian Literature Review
"...extremely powerful...dazzling exploration of quirky detail..."
"...haunting, crisply written, and unsentimentally wise...darkly funny, illuminating and human."