The Colours of Birds—Rebecca Higgins


ISBN: 9781988040431
Pub date: Fall 2018

Rebecca Higgins’s characters do weird things in their attempts to negotiate the world. They steal books and hide in bathrooms and treat grocery receipts like tarot cards. They may want solitude, even escape, but they don’t want to be invisible. They move between isolation and connection—on the internet, at uncomfortable parties, in a tent after Hurricane Katrina. These stories are about friendship and loneliness and the awkward, fumbling ways we try to love each other. We lie and leave things out, so often torn between hiding ourselves and needing to be seen.

“The stories in The Colours of Birds display their verve right from their opening sentences. They are playful and sympathetic, particularly to oddballs, and ultimately to all of us scrambling to navigate the surprising, mystifying business of being human.” —Catherine Bush, author of The Rules of Engagement and Accusation

“Rebecca Higgins’ debut collection of stories is bold, enchanting, and highly original. A wonderful, delightful read.” —Helen Humphreys, author of The Evening Chorus and Afterimage

“In The Colours of Birds, disillusioned Internet daters, heartbroken book thieves, lonely grocery receipt collectors, and lovesick builders of gingerbread houses take turns searching for meaning, fumbling for connection, and clinging to hope that something better is just around the corner. This is a charming, unsettling, and splendid debut.” —Jessica Westhead, author of Things Not to Do and And Also Sharks

Rebecca Higgins author photo

Photo by Hayley Andoff

Rebecca Higgins has lived and worked in Ireland, Honduras, and Brazil. She has a background in social work and has worked in mental health education since 2011. Her short stories have appeared in such publications as the Toronto Star and the Antigonish Review. She lives in Toronto.

Posted in 2018 short fiction, C, Catalogue, Fall 2018, Short Fiction, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , |

You and Me, Belonging—Aaron Kreuter


ISBN: 9781988040417
Pub date: Fall 2018

In You and Me, Belonging, Aaron Kreuter explores our contemporary world with insight, originality, and empathy. The stories in this debut collection are brimming with characters striving to fit in, to find their place in the world, to belong. A Jewish waitress has an affair with a Palestinian chef. A one-percenter self-destructs when he becomes obsessed with mastering the guitar. A university student stoned in Amsterdam hallucinates about Anne Frank on Birthright Israel. In the closing novella, a vanful of young women follows a fictional jam band across America, steeping in counterculture, music, and the ups and downs of the road. The collection is satiric and emotional, angry and hopeful, passionate and surprising. Like a wedding speech gone off the rails, like the best improvised music, You and and Me, Belonging takes readers to some unexpected places.

You and Me, Belonging is a dazzling debut. Sexy, biting, and sharp. Kreuter’s prose is swift and clean. These stories are slyly funny while delivering a sucker punch to the heart. They are full of adventures and dashed dreams, art, sex, desire, and brawn. Brilliant.” —Lisa Moore, author of Caught

“In You and Me, Belonging, Aaron Kreuter captures our universal quest for belonging and meaning with great compassion and nuance. Told from a range of viewpoints, and spanning continents and decades, these beautifully conceived stories are at once boldly political and fiercely personal, and explore what it means to be young, Jewish, and North American in a messy, complex, and conflicted world.” —Ayelet Tsabari, author of The Best Place on Earth

“In writing that crackles and smoulders and leaves you checking your pants for burn holes, Aaron Kreuter maps the veinwork of the Jewish Toronto experience. Swill a bottle of honey, get haunted by Anne Frank, ride a waterslide into the unknown. On the surface, these are stories about suburbs and movie theatres, jam bands and A/V kingpins—beneath it all there’s a riptide of hectic passion and desperate intimacy. You and Me, Belonging steals beauty from wreckage, stashes love in all the right places.”  —David Huebert, author of Peninsula Sinking

“Aaron Kreuter’s new collection is fresh and exciting. His enthusiasm for his characters and their stories draws the reader in and beckons continuation page after page. His descriptions are colorful; his dialogue is realistic. Kreuter really captures the whole jamband scene—our feelings, our joys, and our difficulties.” —Christy Articola, editor and publisher, Surrender to the Flow

Aaron Kreuter author photo

Photo by by Rick O’Brien

Aaron Kreuter writes poetry and fiction. He is the author of the poetry collection Arguments for Lawn Chairs. His work has appeared in various anthologies, magazines, and journals, including Best Canadian Poetry, Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Anthology, the Puritan, Grain Magazine, and the Temz Review. You and Me, Belonging is his first book of fiction. He lives in Toronto.

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Tread and Other Stories—Barry Dempster


ISBN: 9781988040424
Price: $21.95
Pub date: Fall 2018

Tread and Other Stories is a moving, unsettling, and ferociously humane collection of short fiction. The characters are achingly real: the moments at once gut-wrenchingly singular and utterly recognizable. There’s a satisfying range here—from a female prison guard with a yen for bad boys to a lost young man who finds common ground with the French artist René Magritte. Dempster deftly explores the distortions that often accompany our closest relationships, and yet his gaze is always compassionate, never critical. He has created a series of intimacies, each built to make us feel things that we usually only allow ourselves to feel when we’re at our boldest: the desire to pinch the world and have the world pinch us back.

“Barry Dempster writes stories of the everyday that are not everyday stories. They release depth charges of feeling, unease, and strangeness too powerful for that. They take us to places we’ve known but never so vividly.” —Greg Hollingshead, author of Act Normal and Bedlam

“These marvellous stories by Barry Dempster are all about love—the striving for it, the rejection of it, and the unexpected collisions with it. These characters find love difficult. They don’t know the language; the survival skills they were taught as children fail them as adults; they want love but only on their terms. Dempster’s characters are often seemingly hapless, sometimes funny, bursting with baggage and startling moments of awareness. Always, they are heartbreaking in their resiliency and in their push for joy. Dempster knows how to write about the human heart, flawed and hopeful as it is.” —Leslie Greentree, author of A Minor Planet for You: and Other Stories

Barry Dempster, twice nominated for the Governor-General’s Award, is the author of sixteen poetry collections, two novels, and two previous books of stories. His poetry collection The Burning Alphabet won the Chalmers Award for Poetry in 2005. In 2014, he was nominated for the Trillium Award for his novel The Outside World.

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