Winner of the W.O. Mitchell/City of Calgary Award
A debut collection, these stories are set in the corporeal world of adult endeavour: the mall, the office, the subdivision. It’s these settings that W. Mark Giles exploits—locking his sights on eerily familiar characters, excavating their fears, intimacies, and the dark machinery behind their actions. He taps into our collective longing for moments of clarity and awe, recognizes our thwarted potential for wonder, and sees our secrets played out in cruelty. A strangely unified collection, unsettling and surprising, Knucklehead resides where the lines between real and imagined blur. Giles’s penetrating view and unsentimental honesty shape these stories and push the reader’s expectations of the “ordinary.” These are mature and compelling narratives that encapsulate everything great about short fiction. They freeze a moment, but upon closer examination reveal something more, a message that resonates long after that story has been read.
Praise for Knucklehead & Other Stories:
“Elegant riddles dressed in workaday clothes, puzzles of image and event whose solutions cut to the heart of being human in a world of perils …. There’s not a word or image that fails to contribute to Giles’ purpose.” (The Globe & Mail)
“Giles’ style is polished and assured throughout …. Knucklehead is a solid debut.” (Quill & Quire)
" … in an almost compellingly mysterious way, this collection has the incremental effect of moving towards small revelations of character and situation, and ultimately, one tends to admire its craft.” (University of Toronto Quarterly)
W. Mark Giles's fiction and other writing have appeared in magazines and papers across the country, including the 'Malahat Review', 'Geist', 'The New Quarterly', 'NeWest Review', 'Grain', 'The Antigonish Review', and 'Canadian Fiction Magazine'. He has studied at the Banff Centre, the University of Calgary, and has worked with Edna Alford, Fred Stenson, and Aritha van Herk. His non-fiction columns and reviews have appeared in the 'Calgary Sun' and the 'Calgary Herald'. Mark currently lives in Calgary.