The past haunts the characters in The Eater of Dreams. In fifteen interconnected stories, Kat Cameron’s vivid characters — teachers, singers, writers, and misfits — examine the inner fractures in their lives. A woman muses about her miscarried child while watching a friend’s daughter play; an opera singer in Edmonton is stalked by an abusive ex-lover; a student’s story of bullying reminds a woman of her own childhood traumas; a woman cuts out the heart of a faithless man; the ghost of Lafcadio Hearn haunts the bedroom of a grieving teacher in Japan.
The title for the collection is taken from a Japanese folktale about the baku, a mythological creature that eats nightmares, and her tales pulsate with this energy. In the darkest moments of her characters, they find or discover the energy they need to survive, but not without breaking down the surface to see clearly who they really are. Her portraits bear witness to the longing, yearning, unspoken desire of her characters’ dreams and to the uncertainty and contemplation of their lives in the flux of travel and change. The Eater of Dreams is at once contemporary but also ancient in its probing; it is a collection that blurs the borders between realism and the magic that lies outside it.
Kat Cameron was born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of New Brunswick and has worked for two years as an ESL teacher in Japan. Her debut collection of poetry, Strange Labyrinth, was published by Oolichan Books in 2015. Her fiction, poetry, and book reviews have appeared in over fifty journals and anthologies in Canada and the United States, including The Antigonish Review, Canadian Literature, Descant, The Fiddlehead, Forage, Grain, Literary Review of Canada, NonBinary Review, Paperplates, Prairie Fire, PRISM international, The New Quarterly, Room, subTerrain, 40 Below: Volume 2, and Beyond Forgetting: Celebrating 100 Years of Al Purdy. Her poems have been shortlisted for the Malahat Review’s Far Horizons Award for Poetry and FreeFall’s Prose and Poetry contest. She teaches English literature and writing at Concordia University of Edmonton.
“While the book [Strange Labyrinth] is rich with free form and constrained lyric poetry, its strength lies in her conceptual maze of time, imagination, and remembrance. Strange Labyrinth is brilliant and contains a promise of so much more from this unyielding poet.” — Jacqueline Valencia, Room Vol. 39, No. 3, 2016.
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