First Fiction Fridays: Just Pretending by Lisa Bird-Wilson

July 24, 2013

This first short story collection from one of Canada's most exciting new Metis voices features many recurring themes, including the complexities of identity, belonging/not belonging, Aboriginal adoption, loss and abandonment, regret and insecurity. The characters are often fragile, sometimes unlikeable, but ultimately can be identified or sympathized with. At the centre of the stories are the complex relationships between children and parents, both those who are real and those who are just pretending.

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JustPretending

What:

Just Pretending (Coteau Books, April 2013)

Who:

Lisa Bird-Wilson is a Saskatchewan Métis writer whose stories have been finalists for the Journey Prize, among others. Just Pretending is her first book-length work of fiction. Saskatchewan-born and-raised, Lisa works as a director of the Gabriel Dumont Institute and lives in Saskatoon with her family.

Why you need to read this now:

This first short story collection from one of Canada's most exciting new Métis voices features many recurring themes, including the complexities of identity, belonging/not belonging, Aboriginal adoption, loss and abandonment, regret and insecurity.

The characters are often fragile, sometimes unlikeable, but ultimately can be identified or sympathized with. At the centre of the stories are the complex relationships between children and parents, both those who are real and those who are just pretending.

But don’t take just our word for it:

"These stories are sung low from the throats of women who know heartache for characters you'll never forget. Lisa Bird-Wilson has the Atwood eye for detail and the ability to deliver that Carver tone. Her’s is a voice to be cherished and respected."

– Richard Van Camp, author of The Lesser Blessed

*

After reading this emotionally stunning collection, you will never look at the Métis experience in the same way. Bird-Wilson’s knowing, engaging voice is beautiful, and calm; it is the storyteller’s voice: graceful, dark, authentic, funny, and true.

– J. Jill Robinson, author of More in Anger

*

"Inventive, curious, leading us onward by its meter and its drive, this is storytelling as a doo-wop ballad, touching and instantly recognizable."

– Richard Wagamese, author of Indian Horse

*

“… Bird-Wilson hides nothing. Her language is precise and minimalistic. That is not to say her writing is simple. Her words are expertly crafted, poetic even. Bird-Wilson speaks with an inviting voice, drawing us into each tale. The best short stories do this: they reveal seemingly trivial details carefully, each one lending itself to the next, until the final piece topples us over… “

– Devon Pacholik, Pages and Patches

*****

Find out more about Just Pretending and Coteau Books:

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Edited from the original post, published on the LPG blog


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