Any Given Power is peopled with deftly drawn characters who puzzle through their lives in cities and small towns across Canada. In twelve perfectly formed stories that "open to the universal like a beautiful dark rose" (Globe & Mail), York turns her courageous stare to the haunting and bewildering pull of desire, contemporary racism and poverty, the family, with all its impossible circles and affections, and the multitude of injuries, losses, and moments of grace that define us
Alissa York has lived all over Canada and now makes her home in Winnipeg with her husband, writer/filmmaker/publisher Clive Holden. In 1999 her short fiction won the Journey Prize and the Bronwen Wallace Award. Later that year Arbeiter Ring published Alissa's first collection of stories, Any Given Power, which won the Mary Scorer Award for the Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher, and was short-listed for the Danuta Gleed Award. Film rights to three connected stories from the collection have been optioned by Buffalo Gal Pictures. In 2001, Alissa won the John Hirsch Award for the Most Promising Manitoba Writer. Her novel Effigy was nominated in 2007 for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.
The touchstone of truth in a fictional world is a surprise. When the least expected things seem inevitable and contrived, the reader has shared the most generous of all seductions. Alissa York cares fiercely for the integrity of her characters and never intrudes herself upon them, or us. These are truly original stories, charged with the luminous detail which makes us see life afresh. - Séan Virgo
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