Broken Fiction

By (author): Marlene Kadar

Broken Fiction is a collection of short autofictional stories and poems that both offer solace and depict anguish at the collision of memory, loss, and grief. This kind of story-making negotiates a recognition and acceptance of hard truths without resorting to easy resolution.

The pieces in this volume are playful and fierce. The narrator’s willingness to give attention to where love works or goes wrong, or to the moments when suffering cannot be veiled by a positive attitude—even as the comic or absurd overwhelms the tragic and humiliating—takes us to places that inhabit both memory and fiction. Photographs break the fiction and pull the reader into the inevitable forces of time and loss and death.

Broken Fiction invites readers to consider a way through—and sometimes around—illness and love, pain and joy, and gives a droplet of hope in nature’s comedy of errors and coincidence.


Marlene Kadar

Marlene Kadar is a writer who lives in Toronto. She is also Professor Emerita and Senior Scholar in the Department of Humanities, and in the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at York University. She currently studies domestic archival artefacts, including photographs, maps and the documents of immigration and naturalization. Kadar’s focus is life writing theory, and colonial and traumatic histories, including multiple and colliding traces in languages. Marlene Kadar is the Founding Editor and Co-editor of the Life Writing Series at Wilfrid Laurier University Press, and the Literary Editor of Canadian Woman Studies.


“This is a quirky and powerful book, original, heartbreaking, clever, enigmatic, oh so intelligent, sometimes angry, and more often humorous in a sly way. This is prose that slips into poetry. This is snatches of memory, a glimpse of family history, a dream journal, and a series of love letters. This is what the title says it is, broken fiction. It is autobiographical in some parts, not in others, except in the sense that authors always leave traces of themselves behind.”
—Jan Rehner, author of The House of Izieu and Almost True

“In what is perhaps best described as a series of meditations, at once intimate and philosophical, Marlene Kadar writes of illness and treatment, family members both living and dead, her own memories and history’s so-called facts. Part journal, part fiction, Broken Fiction refuses to be one kind of book. It encompasses moments of sadness and grief with sharp insight and humour to find delight and certainly love.”
—Linda Warley, Associate Professor Emerita of English, University of Waterloo

“With a writing style that is clear and concise, while also containing traces of sarcasm and a beautiful sardonic wit, Marlene Kadar tells us how it is. Broken Fiction is a multi-part, braided essay that marries the fictional, the known, and the imagined with philosophy and scientific and medical exploration—and poetry. In fact, the poetry is what stands out to me most—for it winds its way through the writing from beginning to end… Kadar shines here—and in the darkest moments, she shows us light.”
—Carolyne Van Der Meer, author of Journeywoman and Sensorial


There are no awards found for this book.
Excerpts & Samples ×
There are no other resources for this book.

Reader Reviews

Accessibility Detail

EPUB Accessibility Specification 1.0 AA
Table of contents navigation
Short alternative textual descriptions
Single logical reading order
Publisher contact for further accessibility information
Accessibility summary
Print-equivalent page numbering



208 Pages
8.30in * 5.50in * .70in


May 16, 2023



Book Subjects:

FICTION / Biographical

Featured In:

All Books



No author posts found.

Related Blog Posts

There are no posts with this book.

Other books by Marlene Kadar