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    Distributor: LitDistCo Supplies to:CA US Availability: Available Excluding:Jul 15, 2013 Carton Quantity:48 $14.95 CAD
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Margaret Lives in the Basement
By (author): Michelle Berry
9780888014306 Electronic book text, EPUB English General Trade FICTION / Literary Jul 15, 2013
$14.95 CAD
Active 232 pages Turnstone Press
Michelle Berry has one of the most darkly playful and unique voices in Canadian literature and her second collection of short stories, Margaret Lives in the Basement, is no exception. At its heart are characters full of longing, trapped by circumstance and unable to reach out or connect with one another. Whether it's Margaret in the basement and her neighbours above, or two couples working out their family melodramas over dinner, there is always the presence of others but rarely a connection between them. By twists and turns, Berry subverts what we know to be normal and arrives at something, though strange, more real than we like to admit.

Michelle Berry has been widely published in many Canadian literary magazines, national newspapers, and anthologies. She is the author of seven books of fiction, two novels of which have been published in the UK as well as Canada. Berry is a reviewer for The Globe and Mail, and teaches at the University of Toronto and Humber College. Born in California and raised in Victoria, B.C., Berry lives in Peterborough, ON with her family.

The stories in Michelle Berry's second collection are rather more flammable, forged in the brilliance of summer heat waves. These 11 stories stick to the skin, and not always pleasantly, as characters sweat and strip down, with or without benefit of alcohol. Berry graphically evokes smells, walls smeared with tobacco smoke, corpses in the woodshed. But while we may be repelled, we read on, in the grip of the characters' discordant realities and expectations. We brace ourselves against terrible collisions-verbal explosions, a shotgun blast. Usually, happily, we are let off lightly. - Quill and Quire, Quill & Quire

Berry's prose is terse and swift, full of killer one-liners and acerbic observations. All Berry's characters have lost something: wives, sons, minds, sisters, bathing suits, trust, hope. Their attempts to recover and sort out what went wrong, and how to fix things, don't work out - at least not in the way you'd expect - Berry deftly, repeatedly, shows just how clueless and creepy we can be. - The Georgia Straight, The Georgia Straight

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