In his first collection of short stories, rob mclennan's The Uncertainty Principle uses not a single wasted word to explore history, contemporary culture, human relationships, and the ways in which we live. His microfictions highlight our most important moments and biggest stories in the tiniest of spaces. Small novels and even smaller stories are all written in dense, packed prose. Carve, slowly. Carve further, even slower. Pause. Listen.
rob mclennan is the author of some two dozen trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, won the CAA/Air Canada Prize in 1999, the John Newlove Poetry Award in 2010, and was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2013. He has edited collections for numerous presses, including YOU AND YOUR BRIGHT IDEAS: NEW MONTREAL WRITING (w/ Andy Brown, Vehicule Press, 2001), side/lines: A New Canadian Poetics (Insomniac Press, 2002), evergreen:six new poets (Black Moss Press, 2002), Decalogue: Ten Ottawa Poets (Chaudiere Books, 2006), Decalogue 2: Ten Ottawa Fiction Writers (Chaudiere Books, 2007) and the forthcoming Nebulous medicine: the essays, statements and reviews of Andrew Suknaski (Writer as Critic Series, NeWest Press, 2014).
“You will come to realize, as you read this book, that there are things that happened here before you ever arrived, things that are impossible to verify, things that will forever remain impossible to verify. I never know what I might find when I read a book by rob. These little stories are hard to talk about. They almost insist that you don’t talk about them. You can only really repeat what rob has already managed. Like a yacht on a sandy hill in Idaho, this book is just a wonderful, useless thing. ” – Ken Sparling
“The brevity of rob mclennan’s stories is deceiving. Hugely original, enticing and satisfying, his jigsaw of popular culture and classic events, intersecting lives we never imagined, is poetic, as only a poet can write them. “There are ghosts set along every journey,” he says, and his writing embraces them all, capturing the essence of the change we have endured. ” – Anik See
“Imagine a venn diagram, with one circle labelled “Stories” and another labelled “Poetry” and yet another labelled “The Journal from an Imagined Life” and where the circles intersect, you would have The Uncertainty Principle. Each story, and thus each page, is a surprise, a discovery, and a reminder that art exists in even the smallest nooks and crannies. ” – Arjun Basu
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