10 Canadian collections to read for Short Story Month
May is Short Story Month! Celebrate by checking out a great Canadian book.
How to Pronounce Knife is a collection of idiosyncratic and diverse stories about the daily lives of immigrants. Souvankham Thammavongsa captures their hopes, disappointments, trauma and acts of defiance. From a young man painting nails in a salon, to a housewife learning English from soap-operas, How to Pronounce Knife navigates tragedy and humour.
Thammavongsa is a writer and poet. Her stories have won an O. Henry Award and appeared in Harper's, Granta, The Paris Review and NOON. She has published four books of poetry, including 2019's Cluster.
Cascade is a collection of short stories from award-winning writer Craig Davidson. The six stories are set in Davidson's hometown of Niagara Falls, known as Cataract City. They explore what it's like to try to make a life in a town that is struggling economically, where its residents feel left behind and where the glorious, touristy waterfalls distract from deep social, economic and political problems.
Davidson has published several books of literary fiction including Cataract City, which was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2013, Rust and Bone, which was made into an Oscar-nominated feature film of the same name, The Fighter, Sarah Court and The Saturday Night Ghost Club. His memoir Precious Cargo was defended by Greg Johnson on Canada Reads 2018.
The Night Piece is a collection of career-spanning stories by Scotiabank Giller Prize and Canada Reads winner André Alexis. Alexis draws from his previous publications, including Despair and Other Stories of Ottawa and Beauty & Sadness, as well as works that have not been previously published.
In Here the Dark, David Bergen delivers short stories that interweave across space, exploring faith, loss and complex moral ambiguities. From Danang, Vietnam, to Honduras and the Canadian Prairies, the book collects narratives about place and heart. Here the Dark includes the story that won the 1999 CBC Short Story Prize, How Can n Men Share a Bottle of Vodka?
Bergen is a Canadian novelist and short story writer. In 2005, his novel The Time in Between won the Scotiabank Giller Prize. His other books include The Matter with Morris, and Stranger in 2016. His novel The Age of Hope was defended by Ron MacLean on Canada Reads in 2013.
In this collection of stories, Dominoes at the Crossroads, Kaie Kellough navigates Canada's Caribbean diaspora, as they seek music and a connection to their past. Through a broad cast of characters — including jazz musicians, hitchhikers, suburbanites, student radicals, secret agents, historians and their fugitive slave ancestors — Kellough stretches the stories from Montreal's Old Port to as far as the South American rainforests.
Kellough is a writer based in Montreal. His novel Accordéon was a finalist for the Amazon Canada First Novel Award in 2017. He is also the author of the poetry collection Magnetic Equator, which is currently a finalist for the 2020 Griffin Poetry Prize.
Set over a century and spanning five continents, We Two Alone traces the evolution of the Chinese immigrant experience. Tracing various people, families and professionals across the globe, Jack Wang creates a tapestry of experience that encompasses the trials and tribulations of a diaspora trying to find its place in the world.
Wang's short stories have been published in Joyland Magazine, The Humber Literary Review and The New Quarterly. We Two Alone is his first book.
Fontainebleau is a linked short story collection by Madeline Sonik. Each story is set in the city of Fontainebleau, which is beside the Detroit River. There's something in the water in this river, and it results in a set of unsettling, surreal stories that combine comedy and tragedy.
Sonik is a writer and teacher from Victoria. Her essay collection Afflictions & Departures was a finalist for the Taylor Prize. Her other books include the poetry collection Stone Sightings, the novel Arms and the short story collection Drying the Bones.
Love after the End is an anthology of speculative fiction that imagines a utopian future for LGBTQ and Two-Spirit people, curated and edited by poet and novelist Joshua Whitehead.
Contributors include Nathan Adler, Darcie Little Badger, Gabriel Castilloux Calderon, Adam Garnet Jones, Mari Kurisato, Kai Minosh Pyle, David Alexander Robertson, jaye simpson and Nazbah Tom.
Whitehead is an Oji-nêhiyaw, two-spirit writer, poet and Indigiqueer scholar from Peguis First Nation. His book, full-metal indigiqueer, is a collection of experimental poems that aim to provoke discussion and debate. Jonny Appleseed, his debut novel, is about a two-spirit person trying to put his life back together following the death of his stepfather.
Fauna is a linked collection of speculative fiction stories about a biologist named Laura who is trying to understand the changing world around her, and her changing body, while facing a climate apocalypse and possibly the end of the human race.
The French version of Fauna won the City of Quebec book award and was named one of 2018's best books by Radio-Canada.
Christiane Vadnais is a writer from Quebec City. Radio-Canada named her a writer to watch in 2020. Fauna is her first work of fiction.
Pablo Strauss is an editor and translator from Quebec. He was nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award for French-to-English translations for his work on Synapses by Simon Brousseau and The Longest Year by Daniel Grenier.
Tainna: The Unseen Ones is a collection of six stories from Inuk writer Norma Dunning. Each of the stories focuses on a contemporary Inuk character, and explores themes such as homelessness, spirituality, death, displacement, loneliness, alienation and community connection.
Dunning is an Inuk writer who currently lives in Edmonton. She is also the author of the short story collection Annie Muktuk and Other Stories and the poetry collection Eskimo Pie: A Poetics of Inuit Identity. Annie Muktuk and Other Stories won the 2018 Danuta Gleed Literary Award, which recognizes the best debut short story collection of the year.