Books

Mad Hope
Toronto, ON: Coach House, 2012.

In the stories of Mad Hope, Journey Prize winner Heather Birrell finds the heart of her characters and lets them lead us into worlds both recognizable and alarming. A science teacher and former doctor is forced to re-examine the role he played in Ceausescu’s Romania after a student makes a shocking request; a tragic plane crash becomes the basis for a meditation on motherhood and its discontents; women in an online chat group share (and overshare) their anxieties and personal histories; and a chance encounter in a waiting room tests the ties that bind us.

Using precise, inventive language, Birrell creates astute and empathetic portraits of people we thought we knew – and deftly captures the lovely, maddening mess of being human.

This is a beautiful book: funny, whip-smart, compassionate, and gorgeously written. Heather Birrell belongs in the short story pantheon with Alice Munro, Lisa Moore, and Zsuzsi Gartner.
– Annabel Lyon

 You can buy Mad Hope (available mid-March 2012) directly from the publisher, here:

http://www.chbooks.com/catalogue/mad-hope

Or support your local independent bookstore!

Or find it here:  http://www.amazon.ca/

I know you are but what am I?
Toronto, ON: Coach House, 2004.

Kleptomaniacs, convicts, roof-walkers and homicidal hippies: here are children and adults, men and women, all struggling to define themselves. The stories in I know you are but what am I? are like snow domes – perfect little self-contained worlds that you can hold in your hand, turn upside down, shake until meaning settles in a hundred different ways. Young Misha learns about the complexities of grownup love when his mother is bitten by a stingray. Oldrick must come to terms with his ex-girlfriend’s new lover and a belligerent barista in the midst of a smelly garbage strike. Bus-bound Marion, in love with a married man, finds solace in conversation with a convict and home-schooled Rational gets a tutor and learns that his ‘hunker in the bunker’ family isn’t quite what he thought it was.

You can buy I know you are but what am I? directly from the publisher, here:

http://www.chbooks.com/catalogue/i-know-you-are-what-am-i

Or as an e-book, here:

http://www.chbooks.com/catalogue/ebooks/i-know-you-are-what-am-i

Or support your local independent bookstore!

Or find it here: http://www.amazon.ca

ANTHOLOGIES

Toronto Noir
Original Noir Anthology. Akashic Noir. 2008

The Journey Prize Anthology 18
Short Fiction from the Best of Canada’s New Writers. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart, 2006

She Writes, Love, Spaghetti, and Other Stories
Toronto, ON: Second Story Press, 2002.

The Journey Prize Anthology 13
Short Fiction from the Best of Canada’s New Writers. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart, 2001.