Salon Des Refusés « Canadian Notes & Queries

By: Canadian Notes & Queries  09-12-2011

Salon Des Refusés « Canadian Notes & Queries

Alas, yes. So many Canadian stories, so much pain, loss, unrealized ambition, unrequited love, the tragic deaths of beloved pets . . . . After wallowing in The Penguin Book of Canadian Short Stories, edited by Jane Urquhart, I want to go upstairs to my room with a length of rope, a revolver, and a bottle of sleeping pills, hoping one of the three will do the trick. Quoting Frank O’Connor in her introduction, Urquhart suggests that a characteristic of the short story is its “‘intense awareness of human loneliness.’” To be sure, loneliness has been a staple of short fiction from Chekhov to Cheever, but, not satisfied with mere loneliness, Canadian authors prefer a good heartrending sob.

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