What I Want to Tell Goes Like This is an intensely original first short story collection from acclaimed poet Matt Rader. The last story, "All This Was a Long Time Ago," is the 2014 winner of the Jack Hodgins Founders' Award for fiction from The Malahat Review, and other offerings from the collection have appeared in Event, The New Quarterly, Grain, Joyland, Forget Magazine and the Rusty Toque.
Rader's command of tension is masterful in these dark, off-kilter stories that are largely set in the context of the working/labour class in and around the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, BC. They alternate between exploring the history of severe labour struggles in the area over a century ago, and the present-day experiences of people sliding through transitional, ambiguous moments in their relationships and sexuality. The juxtaposition of the two time periods seems to hint at the echoes of the harsh, violent legacy of the earlier age and its power struggles that continue to resonate in contemporary life.
In What I Want to Tell Goes Like This, we are witness to the controversial shooting death of infamous union activist Albert "Ginger" Goodwin by a police constable in 1918; to the squalor of tent cities erected on the Royston Bay mudflats during the Great Vancouver Coal Strike of 1912-14; to two boys' experimentation with sexual violence at the end of a secluded logging road; and to clarity and companionship found in a small cabin by the sea as a son cares for his dying father--a rough man who abandoned him when he was eight. In Rader's artful tales of grit and mystery, danger never feels far away.
Matt Rader is an award-winning author of four volumes of poetry and a collection of stories, What I Want to Tell Goes Like This (Nightwood Editions, 2014). His work has appeared in Best Canadian Poetry, Geist, The Walrus, Wales Arts Review, The Fiddlehead and The Malahat Review. Rader is a core member of the Department of Creative Studies at UBC Okanagan where he lectures in creative writing. He lives in Kelowna, BC.
"Matt Rader writes the secret corners of history, pieces the shards of what is forgotten, and tracks the lost. These stories remind us of why literature is important."
"I love this book for both the swagger and economy of its language, and for the mad and brilliant way it splices time. I love it because it populates its stories with peoples, geographies and lives so often missing from our fictive landscapes, and because it does so with imagination,
bravado and a seriously beautiful wit."
"'All lives have secrets and every secret has a life.' Matt Rader's stories live and breathe in the private space that only the best fiction occupies. Eclectic, idiosyncratic, surprising, completely compelling, I loved this collection. What I want to tell you goes like this: read this book."
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