Paige Cooper's short stories catalogue moments in love. These are stories about women who built time machines when they were nine, or who predict cataclysm, or who think their dreams are reality. They include police horses with talons and giant eagles and were-deer. At the centre of it all is love. And if love is the problem, what is the solution? Being closer? Or being alone? (From Biblioasis)
Zolitude was on the longlist for the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize and was a finalist for the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for fiction.
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From the book
There are so few men left in the city. Commerce drains them off like war. The women, though, are beautiful and everywhere. It's difficult for Merope to meet their eyes as they sell her gin or soap. There are better options, she wants to tell them. Instead, she lets them come to her only as they need to. Like poor Eva, clutching her paper slip with its number in the post office, sobbing. Or Natalie, mute idiot with just her English. Merope makes room for their humid bodies, an undersea pack of beaks and long arms. They bubble nets of intention that blind and confuse. They spiral upwards. They devour whole nights at a time and spit out the unpalatable survivors. They rise, never surface.
At home, Merope keeps carrots until they're limp as old men. She wraps the cheeses in layers of foil and wax and carves away the mould before nibbling. The girls will have none of it. They wail about the cupboard's rotting things as they devour corner-store chocolate with no notion of preservation, greet each other's gifts of it with new peaks of delight. But the waiter's tin luck showed her starved in the dark, and for a while she kept a terrible habit of carrying food, along with change purse and gloves, in anticipation of the day they seize her. That day, the start. She 'll chew cloth, lick cement. She 'll beg the locked door not to open.
From The Tin Luck in Zolitude by Paige Cooper ©2018. Published by Biblioasis.