It’s a couple of years since my last collection of stories, Paradise & Elsewhere, was published and I’m very excited about its successor, The Two of Us, which Biblioasis are publishing in mid September. On the face of it, the two books are very different – Paradise & Elsewhere is in the fabulist tradition and features characters who do things such as changing into birds, whereas The Two of Us is firmly in the realist camp and deals with more regular, twenty-first century happenings – but I have come to see how both of these books, and the next, are very much connected, part of the same exploration. As many reviewers pointed out, the stories in Paradise & Elsewhere often concern an encounter between an existing community and an outsider of some kind: How do we treat the stranger at the gate, and how does that encounter change us? The stories in The Two of Us are preoccupied with the human need for connection, and focus on intense one-on-one relationships: mother and baby, husbands and wives, coach and athlete, mother and son, father and daughter, child and animal… Here’s how the jacket copy puts it:
And here’s the Vancouver Sun: “Showcasing lovers — squatters; worried expectant parents with problem DNA; former friends with benefits; an obese couple struggling with prejudice; and a marriage on the verge — Page hints at the myriad possible trajectories any romance might take. Altogether Page offers a master class in fun with numbers, in this case two. She has been longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize for this collection…”
Meaningful connection continues to preoccupy me. What else is there, in the end? How far will we go to find or obtain it? How do we actually relate to those we think we are close to?
I have just finished the second draft of my next book, Dear Evelyn, which concerns one relationship, a marriage, far from perfect, that lasts for seventy years. Here, I’m looking at the detail of how one relationship works over time. Let’s see what comes next.
http://focusonline.ca/node/1124 Kathy Page’s new collection of short stories explores the transformative power of one-to-one encounters. IN THE GLOBAL VILLAGE, our world has grown so big. Our care and concern is called on by people from around the planet, and we are mentally and emotionally stretched in endless different directions. Locally, too, as Focus showcases, there’s … Continue reading Stories of Intimacy: Amy Reiswig interviews Kathy Page for Focus Magazine
GLOBE and MAIL FICTION THE TWO OF US BY KATHY PAGE “One of the most talented short-story writers working today delivered yet another knockout collection that is both darkly funny and terribly sad.” http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/the-globe-100-the-best-books-of-2016/article33132356/ The Writers’ Trust Best Books of 2016 recommended by Canadian writers Deborah Campbell “Strife. Division. Tears in the social fabric. … Continue reading The Two of Us a Best Book of 2016
This review of The Two of Us ran in the Ottawa Citizen and the Vancouver Sun, probably elsewhere, too. “Word is, the publishing industry (a business sector conscious of market demand) doesn’t invest much in, or encourage, short story collections. Alice Munro-like exceptions exist, of course, but — word is — that literary genre is … Continue reading Psychologically rich & cinematic in the best way, the sweet agony of connection
Short fiction does sometimes garner short shrift in terms of review coverage. It’s a huge pleasure then, to read Steven W. Beattie’s review of The Two of Us for the Globe, which takes the time to explore one of the stories in depth, mentions their “potent” emotional impact, and at the same time defends the … Continue reading The Two of Us Globe Review
It’s over a week since I heard from Dan Wells at Biblioasis that my short story collection, The Two of Us, had been short-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. It was a delicious surprise and is a great honour and, but since it happened, I’ve been too busy to post here, and have only been … Continue reading A Good Start: The Two of Us nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize