Debris

By Kevin Hardcastle

Debris
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Winner of the 2016 Trillium Book Award

Finalist for the 2016 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize

Nominated for the 2015 Danuta Gleed Literary Award

One of Quill & Quire?s Books of the Year, 2015

One of 49th Shelf?s Books of the Year, 2015

The eleven remarkable stories in Kevin Hardcastle’s ... Read more


Overview

Winner of the 2016 Trillium Book Award

Finalist for the 2016 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize

Nominated for the 2015 Danuta Gleed Literary Award

One of Quill & Quire?s Books of the Year, 2015

One of 49th Shelf?s Books of the Year, 2015

The eleven remarkable stories in Kevin Hardcastle’s debut Debris introduce an authentic new voice. Written in a lean and muscular style and brimming with both violence and compassion, these stories unflinchingly explore the lives of those—MMA fighters, the institutionalized, small-town criminals—who exist on the fringes of society, unveiling the blood and guts and beauty of life in our flyover regions.

Kevin Hardcastle

Kevin Hardcastle’s stories have appeared in Shenandoah, The Walrus, The New Quarterly, The Malahat Review, EVENT, PRISM International, and Joyland. His work has been anthologized in Best Canadian Stories, and twice in The Journey Prize Stories. His debut collection of short stories Debris (Biblioasis, 2015) won the 2016 Trillium Book Award. Hardcastle lives in Toronto.

Reviews

Praise for Debris

"[Debris] has flesh and bone, soul and brain. It's a rare, rock-solid first book by ... a dexterous writer with unflinching vision. This book?s gift is in constructing a museum of hard lives, letting us circle them like excavated marble statues, taking us close enough to see all their mutilation, power, and rough beauty."—Alix Hawley, National Post

"[Debris] has its own strong voice ? smoothly connected by uncompromising settings and Hardcastle’s authentic, plainspoken country-noir voice, the 11 stories collected here will appeal to fans of gritty, back-country crime fiction, even those who typically shun short stories."Booklist

"Unflinching ... Debris is impressive for any writer, especially for a first collection ... Hardcastle comes close to a masterpiece."The Winnipeg Free Press

"The stories are told with careful precision, free of authorial judgment, in prose that reminded me of the understated lyricism of later Thomas McGuane or of David Adams Richards ... [A] very fine collection, well-crafted and compelling."Malahat Review

"This newest incarnation of CanLit masculinity may be familiar in content, but it's thematically fresh ... Hardcastle's MMA fighters betray a softness unfamiliar in past versions of these types of characters."National Post

"Hardcastle manages heart-pumping scenes without ever coming off as trite, and his characters are always firmly grounded in the familiar – a fact which makes the carnage lurking off-stage all the more unnerving. Debris offers a fresh perspective on a familiar genre, and can be recommended for this very reason."?Broken Pencil

"Each story is a fully realized world—as rich as it is bleak, the characters powerfully and carefully drawn ... Debris is a collection to savour."Quill & Quire, starred review

"Sparse and tightly controlled ... Hardcastle is intent on showing us the polarity of life in small-town Canada, at once beautiful, dangerous and bizarre ... Reviews of this book will no doubt allude to the ?muscularity? of the prose and liken Hardcastle to other writers in the country-noir tradition, but Debris earns its place as a book among books, deserving of even the most serious literary reader?s praise."PRISM International

"There is a sure-handed display of craftsmanship in these eleven stories, and a panoply of human miseries for Kevin Hardcastle's characters to contend with ... People make dire decisions; violence is commonplace but indelibly described. Hardcastle does darkness well; heartbreaking endings come naturally to him. Everyone gets hurt, but everything makes sense, and the storytelling is so good — the language, a soothing balm for the pain."—John Irving, author of The Cider House Rules

"Debris carves straight to a reader's gut, and more importantly to their heart. Kevin Hardcastle knows the characters who populate his stories intimately—their troubles, their fears, whatever's ticking deep at their cores. This collection thrums with subtle power and grit, but also a well-earned measure of hope."—Craig Davidson, author of Rust and Bone

"Mr. Hardcastle?s stories are written in a powerful, brawling style: they possess courage and heart. He?s an artist who gives the impression he will break down barriers to arrive at the Truth of things. And no Truth, no spec of humanity, is too small for his keen, sympathetic eye."—Cort McMeel, author of Short and co-founder of Murderland

"Kevin Hardcastle's stories are like the fighters he writes about: balanced, precise, knowing exactly when and where to hit you. Debris is the world delivered straight, in all its aggression and tenderness. It?s an astonishing debut, and one that reads as if it were written by a seasoned veteran."—Tamas Dobozy, author of Siege 13

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