A Token of My Affliction-Janette Platana

ISBN: 9781926639758
Price: $16.95—special sale price

Finalist for the 2016 English Language Trillium Book Award!

Longlisted for The Frank O’Connor Short Story Prize!




Janette Platana’s cheerfully disturbing, gleefully outraged, and chillingly beautiful stories break open the lives of apparently ordinary people who struggle and sometimes succeed in living without compromise, refusing to sacrifice the world they sense to the world they see, and where things can be true without ever being real. The range of this accomplished and poetic voice may cause vertigo, owing, as it does, as much to the Clash to Stephen King, to Caitlin Moran as to Flannery O’Connor, and something to David Sedaris. A Token of My Affliction will make you laugh while breaking your heart wide open.

“Wild, witty and thought-provoking…”—Michelle Berry, author of Interference

Janette Platana’s writing is brave and vivid and full of tender sacrilege.”—David Bergen, author of The Time in Between

“Platana questions where choices originate from and what factors make us choose certain paths and not others.”—Derek Newman-Stille, Speculating Canada

“So funny. So perfect; so true. I really haven’t got one negative thing to say about this book. You should read it. Janette Platana is one of our best.” —Richard Rosenbaum, Broken Pencil

“This is an impressive collection of short stories.”—goodreads.com

“This collection is as brilliant as it is terrifying… For Janette Platana, to have an affliction is to be a person… I highly recommend this book.”—Evelyn Deshane, The Rusty Toque

“I’ve never read anything quite as raw as Janette Platana’s first collection of short stories, A Token of My Affliction…  if this is only Janette Platana’s debut collection, then we’ve all got a whole slew of incredible stories coming our way.—galaxyquill.com

“A magnifying glass that you hold up to an assortment of lives that look a lot like your own, and through that magnifying glass you see all the fascinating and horrible microscopic entities crawling over the surface and within the minuscule cracks of those lives.”—Andrew Forbes, 49th Shelf

platana

Janette Platana’s poetry and fiction have appeared in literary magazines across Canada, in the U.S., and in Turkey. Originally from Saskatchewan, and with a background in indie bands and improv comedy, she now lives and writes in Peterborough, Ontario. Her short story, “Dear Dave Bidini,” won This Magazine‘s 2009 Great Canadian Literary Hunt.  A Token of My Affliction is Janette’s debut collection of short fiction.

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Keep It Beautiful – Kelly Ward

Keep it Beautiful CoverISBN: 9781926639628
PRICE: $10 special sale price




Kelly Ward’s debut collection of stories teems with characters just on the fringe of the mainstream, and each story examines the mundane and abject sides of normalcy. A middle-aged woman spends her life in the slot machine pit of a rural casino where she navigates her misplaced affections for two men: one a lifelong gambler and couch-surfing cad, the other a kid in his early 20s who makes her forget her own age and place in the world. Twenty-something newlyweds Asa and Maria attempt to conceive for the first six months of their marriage. When her apparent dream of becoming a mother doesn’t pan out quickly, Maria distances herself from Asa. A septuagenarian utilizes younger shoppers as pawns to make her weekly grocery-store jaunt that much easier to navigate. Each of Keep it Beautiful‘s characters find humor and beauty in unlikely places, while often playing victim—or at times accomplice—to their circumstances.

“Ward’s marginal characters—geriatric shoplifters, lovelorn gamblers, Zellers employees, OCD municipal workers—are curious curiosities. Ward lifts the everyday and everyman and transforms absurd disappointments and fragmented joys of the quotidian to reveal a fresh, intimate compassionate perspective, as all gifted writers do.”—Ibi Kaslik, author of Skinny and The Angel Riots

“Ward favour[s] shorter stories that provide just enough information to comprehend their characters’ motivations and morality, while simultaneously refusing to explain things in a blandly expository manner.”—The National Post

Keep It Beautiful is full of characters both odd and endearing and makes for fantastic summer reading for short story lovers.”—Open Book Toronto

“The author’s deft facility with character and her willingness to trust her readers by infusing her stories with just the right degree of contingency mark her as an author to watch.”—Steve W. Beattie, 49th Shelf

“Observant and compassionate to the end”—goodreads.com

Kelly Ward is a freelance writer and editor whose fiction, poetry, and journalism have appeared in various publications across Canada, including Existere, Matrix Magazine, SubTerrain, Taddle Creek, Word Magazine, and various other literary journals.  Her story, “A Girl And A Dog On A Friday Night,” was longlisted for the 2017 Journey Prize. She lives in Toronto.

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