Books·Canadian

Signs and Wonders

This collection of stories from Alix Ohlin displays the full range of human emotions through the subtly powerful dramas of everyday life.

Alix Ohlin

In this brilliant new collection, one of Canada's brightest young talents skillfully displays the full range of human emotions through the subtly powerful dramas of everyday life. In "You Are What You Like" a young couple finds their life derailed by the arrival of a hard-partying old friend. In "Robbing the Cradle" Lisette does everything she can to give her husband a baby, committing an act of desperation. In "The Idea Man," Beth, a divorcee, falls in love with a man who lies for fun. And in the title story, Kathleen finds herself sitting at the hospital bedside of a man she had planned to divorce, comforted by the woman she went out of her way to hurt. These characters are divorced and beginning to date again, childless and longing for children, married and aching for more. Often unexpected and unsettling, always fascinating, Signs and Wonders showcases a young writer of remarkable range and emotional depth. (From House of Anansi Press)

From the book

So the important thing to know from the start is that she was miserable. She hadn't always been, of course. She'd gotten married in a flurry of sex and promises, wearing a white dress so hideously confectionary that she felt like a parody of herself, a joke told in crinoline and lace, and even that made her happy, because it was silly and she knew they'd laugh about it later. Which they did. Then they had a baby, who was beautiful and perfect, then later on became less beautiful, less perfect, in fact troubled, for a time Ritalin and methamphetamine addicted, but subsequently, amazingly, pulled himself together and managed, despite the rocky years, to graduate from college and find a decent job at a zoo, tending to the turtles.


From Signs and Wonders by Alix Ohlin ©2012. Published by House of Anansi Press.