ReLit Long Shortlist, 2015
Finalist, Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction
Winner, National Magazine Award, Silver Medal for Humour, for the story "It Seems Like Sex is a Weird Thing That Used to Happen to Me," from I'm Not Scared of You or Anything
The characters in I’m not Scared of You or Anything are invigilators, fake martial arts experts, buskers, competitive pillow fighters, drug runners, and, of course, grad students. This collection of comedic short stories and exploratory texts is the ninth book by the critically acclaimed and award-winning author Jon Paul Fiorentino. Deftly illustrated by Maryanna Hardy, these texts ask important questions, like: How does a mild mannered loser navigate the bureaucratic terrain of exam supervision? What happens when you replace the text of Christian Archie comics with the text of Hélène Cixous? And, most important of all, what would it be like ifMr. Spock was a character in the HBO series Girls?
Illustrated throughout by the wonderful, full colour artwork of Maryanna Hardy!
Praise for I’m Not Scared of You or Anything:
Book of the Week, Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Bookstore
"This book leapt up out of the box. It is an outrageously funny book—deadpan. The prose is sharply sliced, clean, and precise. Fiorentino is a master stylist writing from a broad range of interest, drawing on a well of compassion." (The Hugh MacLennan Award for Fiction Jury)
“I’m sure something scares Jon Paul Fiorentino, and maybe it drives him toward the deadpan magic he wields so masterfully in these pages. This is a daring and funny collection.” (Sam Lipsyte)
"Fiorentino smartly and brightly facilitates the reader’s journey into his mind. He has a talent for pointing to profound topics on being and belonging, evoking empathy in the reader, and getting a laugh at the same time. The author does as Andy Kaufman did when, performing as Mighty Mouse, he said, 'I’m not sure if you’re laughing at me or with me.' And everybody really laughed." (The Montreal Review of Books)
"Perhaps this is a glimpse at what the Internet would be like if people were much smarter, much funnier, and not horrible. You don’t have to like short stories to like I’m Not Scared of You or Anything. Anyone who has a pulse and a healthy love of chaos will get something out of this." (5 out of 5) (The Other Press)
Most Anticipated Fiction selection, 49th Shelf
Jon Paul Fiorentino is the author ten books including I'm Not Scared of You or Anything, which was shortlisted for the ReLit Award for Short Fiction and Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction, Needs Improvement, which was shortlisted for the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry, and Indexical Elegies, which won the CBC Books "Bookie" Award for Best Book of Poetry. He lives in Montreal where he teaches Creative Writing at Concordia University, is the editor-in-chief of Matrix magazine, and the editor for the Serotonin/Wayside Imprint of Insomniac Press.