The Dark and Other Love Stories

In this collection of stories, Deborah Willis explores the complications of human entanglement. The book is on the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist.

Deborah Willis

The characters in The Dark and Other Love Stories exist on the edge of danger, where landscapes melt into dreamscapes and every house is haunted. A drug dealer's girlfriend signs up for the first manned mission to Mars. A girl falls in love with a man who wants to turn her into a bird. A wife finds a gaping hole in the floor of the home she shares with her husband, a hole that only she can see.

A teenage girl puzzles over her own surprising behaviour spending the summer with her best friend in the suburbs. These subtle, complex stories — about the love between a man and his pet crow, an alcoholic and his AA sponsor, a mute migrant and a newspaper reporter — show how love ties us to one another and to the world. (From Hamish Hamilton)

From the book

We were like Betty and Veronica in those comics we read endlessly — practically identical except for our hair. Andrea's was dark and I was blond. Her skin tanned easily and I worried about sunburns, but we were the same height and our bodies were lean and undeveloped.

When we met we were assigned to the same canoe at summer camp. Andrea took the stern and I was in the bow. As we drifted on the placid lake, she said, "If we paddled hard, how far do you think we'd get? Before anyone caught us?"

From The Dark and Other Love Stories by Deborah Willis ©2016. Published by Hamish Hamilton.