It is so gratifying to see this book finding its readers. A bit of an embarrassment of riches in the last week or so, but an embarrassment I’m happy to endure… Also, the Mad Hope blog tour has made recent stops at Open Book, The Rusty Toque, and Grace O’Connell — drop by for a visit!
From Bella’s Bookshelves:
No book is perfect, of course. But Heather Birrell’s latest, a collection of short stories called Mad Hope (published by Coach House), is so good, the writing so strong and skilled, I kept thinking,These stories are perfect.
— Steph Vander Meulen
From The National Post:
(…) a collection of 11 stories that beautifully illustrate the fragility of existence. Death is a recurring character, as is birth, motherhood, grief and resilience.
The book could be described as a collection of fictional reflections on the search for truth in grief, yet the stories are never dreary. They transport the reader to emotionally corrosive places, yet are alive with a sense of levity even within their darkest passages.
— Rachel Harry
And from The Winnipeg Free Press:
Toronto writer Heather Birrell has tapped into our dark Canadian psyche like a country witch with a crooked divining rod.
Her sublime stories are drawn from the margins of society but they are sure to capture a wider audience. Mad Hope, her second collection, is a sure-footed and mature exploration of modern life.
Mad Hope is best read during the clean light of day. You don’t want to miss any of the nuances, dense language or caustic political commentary.
Read it one story at a time. This collection requires quiet concentration as each tale resonates like a tiny, perfect novella. Mad Hope is hopeful yet realistic, wordy yet sublime. It contains everything a demanding reader wants from her short fiction — wickedly accurate, open-ended portraits drawn from life.
— Patricia Dawn Robertson