A second collection by award-nominated writer Andrew Forbes that rifles through the domestic and wild moments that make us human.
Inundation took three days. Three days to wash away better than a hundred years of enterprise. At the end of those three days there was an enormous lake, and a new waterway. In the new towns the sawdust still hung in the air. It was no biblical deluge, no great, sudden wave, but a slow and deliberate editing of landscape. You could check it in the morning and go away for a while and when you looked again you might not be certain the water had risen, until you began to remember the things you had seen before that you could not see any longer. Gradually it rose, ineluctable and ordained-a flood decreed by legislation, enacted by determination.On the third day, I left. - from "Inundation Day"
Escaping government-sanctioned flooding, obsessing over camera-equipped drones, violently mourning a lost brother, discovering a new passion in fencing, watching a wildfire consume a whole town: the stories in Lands and Forests survey the emotional landscapes of women and men whose lives, though rooted deeply in the land and their small communities, are still rocked by great cultural change. These are raw, honest character studies reminiscent of the work of Alexander MacLeod and Lisa Moore, but with a style and energy all their own.
“In this superbly stark, brooding collection, disillusioned men and women struggle along, the potential for grandeur in their futures long since faded. And yet there is still awe amid their resignation—for the beauty in the world, and sometimes for each other. With Lands and Forests, Andrew Forbes digs beneath stunning, wild landscapes to find all of the unhappiness buried there, unearthing life’s cruel disappointments and splaying them out on the dirt one by one. These are bleak, sharp, ruthless stories, and I loved them.”
- Jessica Westhead, author of Things Not to Do and And Also Sharks
“Full of quiet tension and a cast of fully-realized characters that feel like they could step off the page, Andrew Forbes’s Lands and Forests shows us what the short story was made to do: delight us, surprise us, and prompt us to more fully recognize ourselves.”
- Johanna Skibsrud, Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author of The Sentimentalists, Quartet for the End of Time, and Tiger, Tiger