Add Best Comp

Add comparable title

Remove comparable title

Indie Picks, Summer 2017

  • Thumbnail View
  • Scrolling view
  • Grid view
The Dead Husband Project
By (author): Sarah Meehan Sirk
9780385687607 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FICTION / Literary Aug 08, 2017
$22.00 CAD
Active 5.39 x 7.99 x 0.72 in 256 pages Doubleday Canada Anchor Canada
Perfect for readers of George Saunders, Jennifer Egan and Heather O’Neill, a rich and inventive collection of exquisite short stories by a major newcomer to Canadian literature.

In this deeply felt, compulsive and edgy work, Sarah Meehan Sirk shines a distinctive light on love and death in their many incarnations, pushing against the limits of the absurd while exposing piercing emotional truths about what it means to be gloriously, maddeningly alive.

In “The Dead Husband Project,” an artist who has planned to make an installation out of her terminally ill husband’s dead body has to recalibrate when his diagnosis changes. In “The Date,” an online dating match takes an unusual turn when the man who shows up to the restaurant has no face. In “Ozk,” a young girl longs to connect with her socially isolated mother, a professor of mathematics who makes a radical discovery.

Uncanny, sometimes violent, achingly sad and always profound, these stories showcase a writer with skill and empathy, and draw us in with a steady, unyielding grip.

STRONG CONNECTIONS: Sarah has worked as a producer at the CBC for many years, and she has a lot of friends and supporters there. She was also mentored by David Adams Richards.

ELEMENT OF SURPRISE: These stories are always full of surprise. Sarah will consistently set up stories of lovers who are in a fight or a parent and child who seem to have normal, everyday difficulties, only to shock the reader by shattering the story into bits in order to show some form of purposelessness, of chaos in the world that cannot be contained despite our sincerest efforts. The result is an unpredictable, unrelenting and unforgettable reading experience.

AUTHOR: Sarah lives in Toronto, and is articulate, fun and charming. Very promotable and a great candidate for festivals, etc.

COMMITMENT: Doubleday has great faith in the promise of this new talent, so we invested in a two-book deal—Sarah is hard at work on her first novel.

SARAH MEEHAN SIRK is a writer, producer and broadcaster. Her short fiction has appeared in The New Quarterly, PRISM international, Room and Taddle Creek, and her story “Moonman” is anthologized in Journey Prize Stories 27. For the CBC, she co-produced and hosted the popular 2015 Radio One series Stripped, has worked on Q (now q) and DNTO and is a founding producer of Day 6 with Brent Bambury. She studied math and philosophy at the University of Toronto, and was mentored by David Adams Richards at the Humber School for Writers. She lives in Toronto with her young family and is working on her first novel.

Author Residence: Toronto, ON

Author Hometown: Toronto, ON

Marketing: Social Media Promotions

Publicity: Special Galley Mailing

National Media Attention


National Review Mailing

Author Social Media: Twitter: @smsirk

“Fiercely imaginative, original and deeply affecting. These stories explore what is essential about human experience­­—the implications of living in a body, how the spirit is chained and defined by flesh and bone and how we escape those constraints. Sarah Meehan Sirk is a bold writer and these stories are seeking, searing and oddly beautiful. Like Margaret Atwood and Barbara Gowdy, Sirk reminds us the imagination has no borders.” —Lisa Moore

“Sarah Meehan Sirk takes a sharp pen to conceptual art, dating apps, reality TV, mommy bloggers, social media and other contemporary obsessions, often marrying preposterous scenarios with ordinary concerns…. These surprising twists, braided with the most everyday of circumstances, make for an inventive, often intense—and highly readable—collection…. The writing is sharp, crisp and alive. We are inserted firmly into the action and the emotion of the story, the headspace of the protagonist and the tension surrounding him or her (usually her)…. These concise portraits of life are often devastating—but always delightful.” —The Globe and Mail

“Sarah Meehan Sirk’s debut short story collection manages to transcend much of life’s inherent darkness to land in a tender, human place that’s recognizable to all. With a keen ear, Sirk nails the nuances of dialogue—between husbands and wives, mothers and daughters, friends and lovers—with the real kickers being the internal ones of characters struggling to give the best impression of themselves from inside their personal reality. Bypassing the formulaic and predictable, The Dead Husband Project is a stellar shout out to the power and relevance of the short story.” —Toronto Star

“Sirk is a gifted stylist; her sentences are lyrical and clean and pulse with a quiet, fervent energy. The Dead Husband Project charts a world just peculiar enough to mimic the odd bends life can take, and the quiet spaces in the stories point to how the smallest of things—gaps in conversations; things that don’t get said but should—can grow and fester…. In the hands of this storyteller, love in all its guises can, for a time, feel entirely new.” —Quill & Quire

“The summer’s most macabre short story collection taps into the latent horrors of modern romance. Its lovelorn heroines find themselves in all sorts of strange scenarios…. Sarah Meehan Sirk brings tenderness to the Gothic grotesquerie.” —Toronto Life

“Sarah Meehan Sirk [is] adept at misdirection and wry comedy. If this amusing and intriguing book is any indication, she has a very promising future…. All of the stories…are powerful, intriguing and fresh. They are terse but pleasurably expandable through the fracturing of chronology and misdirection. The Dead Husband Project is a very lively read.” —Winnipeg Free Press

“Sarah Meehan Sirk’s stories are grandly written, stunningly beautiful, celebratory and profane. They make us laugh, break our heart. We witness a powerful and important debut.” —David Adams Richards

The Dead Husband Project is high-definition in the details of life it captures across its stories. No matter the situation—an art opening, a family vacation, the discovery of a new colour—Sirk pushes through jarring truths to subtle beauty.” —Emily Schultz

of 14


Step 1 of 2

Thanks for signing up! Please tell us a little about yourself.
* Indicates required field

Step 2 of 2

Forgotten Password

Please enter your email address and click submit. An email with instructions on resetting your password will be sent to you.

Forgotten Password

An email has been sent out with instructions for resetting your password.