With surgical precision and understated humour, in Earthbound Kenneth Radu once again demonstrates his remarkable ability to portray ordinary people in sometimes extraordinary circumstances. Whether it's the story of an old woman who has given birth, or a professor grieving over the death of his child, or a porn shop owner fighting off the financial predations of his brother, or a wheel-chair bound woman terrified by a voyeur, these stories collectively dramatize the conflict between personal wishes and the hard facts of reality. As the title story suggests, what we dream or think about ourselves may well be pulled down to earth, sometimes with a thud, by the gravitational energy of emotion, relationships, unexpected events and inescapable truth. As in his previous collection, Sex in Russia, the stories in Earthbound, are all are imbued with Radu's subtle irony, deft descriptions, acute insight, and compassion for his characters.
Kenneth Radu has published books of fiction, poetry and non-fiction, including The Cost of Living, shortlisted for the Governor General's Award. His collection of stories A Private Performance and his novel Distant Relations both received the Quebec Writers' Federation Award for best English-language fiction. His last novel is The Purest of Human Pleasures (Penguin). He is also the author of Sex in Russia: New & Selected Stories (DC Books Canada). Born in Windsor, Ontario, he taught for many years at John Abbott College near Montreal and now writes full time
'Like a well-honed knife, Kenneth Radus prose cuts through the gamut of circumstances depicted in this collection. Through his deft and brilliant use of simile and metaphor, and an appropriate sprinkling of the various vernaculars heard in the Canadian mosaic, together with his empathy for human fragilities, Kenneth Radu captures the attention of the reader as he depicts ordinary people in unusual, sometimes extraordinary situations. ' -- Annie Vigna,Freefall, Fall 2014
“Like a well-honed knife, Kenneth Radu’s prose cuts through the gamut of circumstances depicted in this collection. Through his deft and brilliant use of simile and metaphor, and an appropriate sprinkling of the various vernaculars heard in the Canadian mosaic, together with his empathy for human fragilities, Kenneth Radu captures the attention of the reader as he depicts ‘ordinary people in unusual, sometimes extraordinary situations. ’”—Annie Vigna,Freefall, Fall 2014“Most of the stories in Earthbound, if not set in Montreal or another specific city or town, take place in a recognizable North America of the here and now. But a few reach back into the past and recreate locales outside of our immediate experience. The variety is dazzling and somewhat daunting because Radu writes convincingly in all of these voices and from all of these places. ”— Ian Colford, The Fiddlehead“Kenneth Radu has a unique talent for capturing critical emotive moments of his characters’ lives with subtle irony, sharply honed insight, and empathy. ”—Mark McCawley, Urban Graffiti
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