Sudbury author generating buzz for his 'bizarro fiction'

Sudbury's Brendan Vidito wins Wonderland Award for his collection of 'bizarro fiction' short stories.

Sudbury's Brendan Vidito wins award for short story collection

Sudbury's Brendan Vidito won a Wonderland Award for his 'bizarro fiction' collection of short stories entitled Nightmares in Ecstasy. (Waubgeshig Rice/CBC)

If you're a fan of horror writer Clive Barker or the horror-meister movie maker David Cronenberg, you might want to read some Brendan Vidito.

The Sudbury author is generating international buzz since he won a very big award in a very specific literary genre --bizarro fiction.

Vidito recently won a Wonderland Award for his collection of short stories. The announcement was made last week in Portland, Oregon.

"Nightmares in Ecstasy was released in October 2018," said Vidito. "It's a collection of 13 tales of surreal body horror." 

Vidito describes his work as definitely horror with an overlap of something called bizarro fiction. 

He describes the movement that grew out of Portland as the literary equivalent of the cult section at a video store.

"You know, that really weird, strange stuff you find at the back of the shelf." 

The newly minted award-winning author says he's been drawn to this genre for as long as he's been writing.

"I appreciate the strangeness and the bravery involved in this kind of writing and I just like exploring ideas of the human body and I do that through this kind of weird subversive way," he explains.

Vidito says there's definitely a cult following for this type of literature. 

"There are different publishers from all around the world that are starting to translate this work and you can even find its influence creeping into some mainstream movies that are being released today," he said. 

Vidito says he was overwhelmed when he got the news over the phone about having won the award. 

"There's a three-hour difference between Portland, Oregon and here," said Vidito. "I received the call around midnight. I answered the phone and gave a speech over speaker phone and my adrenaline was pumping," he recalls.

As for what the award means for his career, Vidito says it's definitely a huge step forward and will help to get eyes on his book.

He's working on a follow-up novel and says the award is the extra fuel to propel him towards finishing it. 

Vidito is also working on a project with another writer. He and Sam Richard are putting together a tribute to David Cronenberg, called The New Flesh.

"It contains 18 stories, all of them inspired by the works of Cronenberg and each of them taps into his filmography in a different and unique way," said Vidito.

To find out more about Brendan Vidito or to buy his book, visit his website.

With files from Waubgeshig Rice


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