The Octopus Has Three Hearts
The Octopus Has Three Hearts offers dispatches from the margins of human society. These are stories about damaged people who have committed, witnessed or survived terrible acts and who must make their way in an unforgiving world.
From a goat farmer to a suburban adulterer, a violent child to a polyamorous marine biologist, Rose's diverse characters have little in common except a life-sustaining connection to the animal world. The octopus, dogs, pigs, chameleons, bats, parrots, rats and sugar gliders in their lives extend a measure of compassion and solace that their human communities lack.
Rachel Rose's finely tuned sense of irony is evident in this collection, which embraces the strange and unexpected, exploring the outer limits of empathy and forgiveness. Her flawed and broken characters, who may range far from readers' own lived experiences, reveal universal elements of the human condition and the curious redemption of the human-animal bond. (From Douglas & McIntyre)
The Octopus Has Three Hearts was on the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist.
Rachel Rose is the author of four poetry collections of poetry and a memoir, The Dog Lover. She is the poet laureate emerita of Vancouver and a poetry editor at Cascadia Magazine. Rose has won the Bronwen Wallace Award for fiction from The Writers' Trust and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. She lives in Vancouver.