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LPG Sales Collective, Get Outside Summer Features

Goth Girls of Banff
By (author): John O'Neill
John O'Neill


NeWest Press



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
Nov 15, 2020
$19.95 CAD


8.5in x 5.5 x 1 in | 1 lb

Page Count:

208 pages
NeWest Press
FICTION / Short Stories
Fiction: general and literary|Short stories
ReLit Award for Short Fiction 2021, Short-listed

Shortlisted for a 2021 ReLit Award in the short fiction category!
Finalist for Trade Fiction Book of the Year at the 2021 Alberta Book Publishing Awards!

John O'Neill's gothic short stories, set in the Canadian Rockies, are haunted by the violence inherent in nature and humans. The mountains are majestic and impassive. The characters are surprising, bent, but also empathetic. Their survival is tenuous. A two-sister team of goth tour guides offers guided excursions up switchback mountain trails; a paroled convict thumbs his way into the life of a family driving west; and an animal pathologist, while performing a necropsy on a grizzly bear, has an unusual encounter with both technology and humanity.

Goth Girls of Banff is a superb collection, sharply written, with plot turns as consequence-laden as those on an iced-over mountain road.

John O'Neill is the author of the novel Fatal Light Awareness and four poetry collections, Animal Walk, Love in Alaska, The Photographer of Wolves, and Criminal Mountains. He was raised in Scarborough, Ontario, where his parents worked for many years as building superintendents, an aspect of his history explored in The Photographer of Wolves. He was a winner in the Prairie Fire Long Poem Contest and Sheldon Currie Fiction Prize, and the recipient of a 'Maggie' - a Manitoba Magazine Award - for Best Story for his "The Book About The Bear." John was a finalist, with his manuscript Goth Girls of Banff (Newest Press 2020), for the HarperCollins/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction. He taught high-school English and Dramatic Arts for 29 years, and now lives and writes in the Leslieville neighbourhood of Toronto. He and his artist wife Ann make frequent trips to Canada's Rocky Mountains, and this landscape continues to be a major influence on his writing.

Praise for Goth Girls of Banff

"The depth and variety of perspectives O'Neill writes make this collection a staggeringly endearing pastiche."
~ Courtney Eathorne, Booklist

"O'Neill is a skilled stylist. His use of language and image is vivid and crisp, the narratives are deeply imaginative and unpredictable."
~ Steven Ross Smith, Alberta Views

"If you've ever wanted to visit Banff, I suggest picking this book up. It will frighten you and inspire you and, in the end, you might just yearn for a slice of that adventure too."
~ Myshara Herbert-McMyn, The Ormsby Review

"The characters who populate this winning collection make the pilgrimage to Banff with expectations, usually of salvation. What they find is something distinctly less divine. Any hope of communion with nature is either thwarted by mundane human interference or the revelation of violence that lurks just below all that beauty."
~ Zachary Abram, Canadian Literature

"Whether looking for a story about the Rocky Mountains' breathtaking (often literal) nature, or for some stories to pull on your heartstrings and teach you about what makes us human, O'Neill's Goth Girls of Banff is a collection that has something for everyone."
~ Skylar Kay, FreeFall Magazine

John O'Neill's characters are thoughtful, at odds with their environment, and above all, deeply human. His prose is lyrical and imaginative, empathetic, with surprising moments of humour. The distinct Alberta landscape is depicted with precision and awe. Well-shaped, character-driven plots build towards powerful emotional endings, in these stories that explore loneliness, fate, and subtle, prickly, human relationships."
~ Shashi Bhat, author of The Family Took Shape

"O'Neill's Goth Girls of Banff should be as essential to the mountain visitor as The Canadian Rockies Trail Guide."
~ Lee Gowan, author of Confession and The Last Cowboy

"Beautifully executed and organically driven, these stories borne of the Canadian West captivate from the beginning and linger long in the mind. From Marilyn Monroe to encounters with wildlife to Castle Mountain Internment Camp, O'Neill is a storyteller whose tales carry an edgy grace and shimmering surefootedness. A compelling and visceral read."
~ Catherine Graham, author of Quarry and The Celery Forest

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