Winner of a 2017 Ippy Awards Regional Bronze Medal for Fiction!
Shortlisted for the 2017 ReLit Award!
Kelley Aitken’s compelling short fiction collection is united by a sense of place, the Canadian Shield. Her nine short stories traverse an area between land and water; near and far, between the uncontrollable and the veneer of civility. They reflect, Janus-headed, on Nature and human nature. Canadian Shield addresses that anxious paradox between our yearning for the wild and our need for security—a profound dilemma of our time.
“Loss and longing, love, betrayal, and hard-won heart, the souls in these stories are mirrored in the Canadian wild. This is travel over tough terrain—river, rock, and the inner landscapes of people who search—these stories will stay with you for a long time.”—Kim Echlin, author of Under the Visible Life and The Disappeared
“Aitken writes dense, layered stories that play with temporality and use the natural world as a mirror for the psyches of her characters… Aitken’s stories are dark, but tremendously insightful and empathetic. This is a smart, haunting collection.”—Alexander De Pompa, Broken Pencil
“Aitken’s exquisite prose takes us on a profound journey from camp to bush to canoe in a deeply moving reflection on our relationships with ourselves and our surroundings.”—Goodreads
Kelley Aitken is a writer, artist, and teacher. Her book Love in a Warm Climate (The Porcupine’s Quill, 1998) was nominated for the Commonwealth Prize, Best First Book. Kelley has lived in the Philippines, Ecuador, and various parts of Canada. Born in British Columbia, Kelley makes her home in Toronto where she teaches drawing at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Twenty years after a horrific captivity, Magda’s perfect life begins to crumble. Helpless to the resurgence of memory, she collapses inward. Through a haze of desire frighteningly evocative of the attack, she desperately attempts to fit together the bits and pieces of self, which existed before and after. The Theory of Light at Midnight is the story of the disintegration of personality, and one woman’s attempt to reconstruct integrity with the truth of brutality intact.
“In this series of ‘broken cantos,’ language buckles under the weight of a body’s knowing, giving voice to a novel which sings its gorgeous dissonance. Like a rare piece of music, this writing moved me to tears. It is an astonishing work. Magda’s experience of childhood violence reverberates throughout her life and words—and into the bodies of readers who hold this book in their hands. The Theory of Light at Midnight not only describes trauma, it renders it actual through Ukrainetz’ extraordinary prose.—Marianne Apostolides, author of Sophrosyne
“Surreal. Dreamlike. Childhood trauma and adult aftershock transformed into art.” —Mary Lou Dickinson, author of Would I Lie to You? and Ile D’Or
“A poet as well as a prose writer, Ukrainetz has a handle on language”—Quill & Quire
“A deftly crafted and compelling read from beginning to end… destined to become a literary classic.”—Midwest Book Review
“The Theory of Light at Midnight brings Ukrainetz back into the world of Canadian fiction. The novel is a temporally and structurally fragmented look at the inner life of a woman… Ukrainetz deftly steps outside of time and linear structure… conveying a strong sense of Magda’s central struggle.”— David Burgess McGregor, Winnipeg Review
“Elizabeth Ukrainetz’s writing shows brief glimpses of life on the other side of a window painted with vivid colours and designs. Language in her work is at the forefront.”—Room
“Language, for Elizabeth Ukrainetz, is a goal in itself. In The Theory of Light at Midnight, it is the poetic prose that draws the reader’s attention.”—Herizons
“The most impeccable writing I’ve come across in a very long time.”—Goodreads
Elizabeth Ukrainetz writes prose and poetry. Her work has appeared in several anthologies and journals over the years, including The Malahat Review, Fiddlehead, and Grain. She’s published two books with Exile Editions, Baby, I Love You: Stories and Minor Assumptions. Visit her website at eeukra.net