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LPG Catalogue: Spring 2016

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As if
By (author): Alban Goulden
9781772140484 Paperback, Trade English FICTION / Short Stories May 28, 2016
$18.00 CAD
Active 8.36 x 5.07 x 0.37 in | 180 gr 160 pages Anvil Press Publishers Anvil Press
As If is a collection of stories that, as its title suggests, points at an indubitable truth: all literature is speculative. Goulden's, however, extends past the boundaries of conventional fiction into areas traditionally occupied by fantasy and magic realism. These stories rail against the industrial and digital mechanisms of our age and, in the great fabulist tradition, call upon its characters to take action, to reach beyond the repetitive anxiety of being a cog in the wheel of mechanical environmental destruction. Sound too ethereal and abstract? It isn't. These stories are grounded in the physical reality of Vancouver and the Prairies of Canada, and they are grounded in the people who live there, whose successes and failures are kick-started by abrupt changes in their physical world. How the characters react to those challenges initiates a multitude of potential results. As if. Some say that writing is a tool to tell ourselves stories about who and why we think we are. The characters in As If encounter physical laws that challenge conventional mindsets, and they create reality models whose assumptions don't always play out in expected ways. They are then compelled to revise their understanding of themselves and their world. Forced evolution? Maybe. These stories invite the reader to look down the highway, see what might be coming, and see what they might be able to do. Praise for As If: "From the little lies in 'Joy' to sud- den loss in 'As If,' to Mr. Jimmy in 'The Painted Hand,' Goulden looks at all the ways one's world can collapse. Each story works to steal the floor out from under its protagonist, with little or no warning, giving the overall impression that there's no such thing as sure footing in this world." (BC Bookworld)

Alban Goulden was born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. He moved to Medicine Hat as a youth, and later attended Lethbridge Junior College, the University of Alberta, and Simon Fraser University. He has published one previous book of short stories, In the Wilderness (Repository Press) and a sci-fi novel HOME 1: Departure. He is about to publish HOME 2: Journey, and is working on HOME 3: Arrival. Alban has published stories, essays, and poems in Iron, Grain, and subTerrain, and taught English (including Creative Writing) for many years at Simon Fraser University and Langara College. Goulden moved to Vancouver in the mid-sixties and has been in Vancouver's Lower Mainland ever since. He now divides his time between Empress, Alberta and his home in New Westminster, BC.

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