Reading Local–Part Two

Next up on my reading list are two collections of short stories. The first one was written by Ian Colford. While I’ve never formally met Ian, he was the editor of the Pottersfield Portfolio many years ago when my second short story, Wild Geese, was published. I’m really looking forward to reading this collection. The second one is from an author right here in Kings County, practically my back yard. Christy Ann was a guest on my blog a few years back when her book the Memento was newly published. You can read that interview HERE.

A Dark House: & Other Stories

In Ian Colford’s latest collection, people get themselves and those they love into situations awkward and sometimes dangerous, doing what they think is best for all. A man kidnaps his young son from his ex-wife and the road trip west quickly spirals out of control; a destitute mother makes a risky alliance with a neighbour; an almost comically wrong-headed older brother has a detective follow his sister; a retired shop-owner in north end Halifax reflects on his life before making a snap decision to change the course of his sunset years. Colford depicts his characters’ shortcomings with wit and generosity, in a plainspoken style that belies deeply nuanced portrayals of the questions of fortune, inevitability, and self-preservation.

About the Author: Ian Colford lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His stories, reviews, and commentary have appeared in Canadian literary publications from coast to coast and in journals published online. From 1995 to 1998 he was editor of the literary journal Pottersfield Portfolio. He has served on the Steering Committee of One Book Nova Scotia, the board of directors of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, and the board of the Atlantic Book Awards Society. He has completed residencies at the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers and Yaddo, an artists’ colony in Saratoga Springs, New York, and is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers Summer Workshop where he worked with Isabel Huggan, Alistair MacLeod, and Wayson Choy. Evidence, a collection of short fiction, was published in 2008 by Porcupine’s Quill and won the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award; Evidence was also shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award, the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize and the ReLit Award. A novel, The Crimes of Hector Tomás, followed in 2012. Published by Freehand Books, it won Trade Book of the Year at the 2013 Alberta Book Awards. Perfect World, a novella, was published by Freehand in 2016 and shortlisted in the book design category at the 2017 Alberta Book Publishing Awards. In September, 2019, a collection of short fiction, A Dark House, was published under the Vagrant Press imprint of Nimbus Publishing.

Watermark by Christy-Ann Conlin 

In these evocative and startling stories, we meet people navigating the elemental forces of love, life, and death. An insomniac on Halifax’s moonlit streets. A runaway bride. A young woman accused of a brutal murder. A man who must live in exile if he is to live at all. A woman coming to terms with her eccentric childhood in a cult on the Bay of Fundy shore.

A master of North Atlantic Gothic, Christy Ann Conlin expertly navigates our conflicting self-perceptions, especially in moments of crisis. She illuminates the personality of land and ocean, charts the pull of the past on the present, and reveals the wildness inside each of us. These stories offer a gallery of both gritty and lyrical portraits, each unmasking the myth and mystery of the everyday.

About the Author: Christy Ann Conlin’s debut novel, Heave, was a national bestseller and one of the Globe and Mail‘s top books of 2002. Her second adult novel, The Memento, will be published by Doubleday in April 2016. Her first YA novella, Dead Time, will be come out with Annick Press in 2011. Her fiction has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Best Canadian Stories. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of British Columbia where she wrote and studied fiction, stage and screenplay writing. She also holds a Bachelor of Education from Acadia University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from the University of Ottawa. Her essays have appeared in numerous publications including Canadian Geographic, Geist and Chatelaine. Christy Ann is also a regular book reviewer for the Globe and Mail and is an online instructor with the University of Toronto. She lives in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

If you’re a short story fan the way I am, I’m sure you’ll find some gems in these two collections. I’m personally, quite excited to read them.

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1 Comment

  1. They both sound intriguing! I too enjoy short stories.

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