Thursday, April 23, 2009

First fiction addiction

We are so excited to welcome two of our favourite fiction discoveries of the past year to town for a reading on Saturday, May 9th at 7:00 p.m. at the Royal Oak on the Canal (221 Echo Drive).

Both Pasha Malla and Andrew Hood wrote wonderful and impressive debut collections of short stories that have left us wanting more.

Pasha Malla's debut, The Withdrawal Method, was nominated for the 2008 Giller Prize. His extraordinary stories grant us entry into fascinating worlds -- the complex world of children acting out half-understood fantasies of adulthood; the modern world of young couples navigating hairpin emotional turns; a near-future world where Niagara Falls has run dry. Haunting and fresh, shot through with empathy and humour, The Withdrawal Method peels back the layers to reveal the strange, the wondrous and the unexpected.

Pasha Malla writes regularly for McSweeney's, has had multiple stories nominated for the Pushcart and Journey prizes, and was a pick for Best American Nonrequired Reading (selected by Dave Eggers).

Andrew Hood’s debut collection, Pardon Our Monsters, heralds a young talent with an irresistible style and merciless eye. These unapologetic stories deal with an assortment of foolish self-destructive small town anti-heroes. A newly-wed conjures a ghost in an attempt to contact her absent husband. A seventeen-year-old is blackmailed into buying drugs for his English teacher. A tumescent young Blue Jay’s fan and his tumor-addled sister are swept up in the tempest of the Blue Jay’s 1989 run for the World Series. An estranged stepmother and stepson embark on a pilgrimage to the Michael Jackson trial. Hood’s cleverly wrought lyrical prose is the perfect foil for a prevailing lack of forgiveness, which becomes the overriding monstrosity of each story. Every character wants only to be pardoned, but will not, themselves, grant it.

Andrew Hood’s won the Irving Layton Award for Undergraduate Fiction at Concordia University, and his stories have appeared in Concordia’s Soliloquies and Headlight Anthology.

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