Cover Before Striking

By (author): Priscila Uppal

The most common phrase in print is “cover before striking,” a warning to those about to innocently strike a match to be careful not to burn their fingers.

Uppal’s characters in Cover Before Striking are all people pushing their lives to new levels of intensity, danger, or passion as they test their limits and those of the world. The pyromaniac at the heart of the title story ? winner of the Gloria Vanderbilt Short Fiction Prize ? desperately uses fire to reconnect with lost lovers and family members. In “Vertigo,” an injured Olympic athlete becomes a research guinea pig in a surreal scientific experiment. In “The Boy Next Door,” a teenager recounts how her mother took her and fled Canada for Brazil, along with the local Catholic priest.

Implacable and just a little unhinged, the stories of Cover Before Striking each move toward that moment of contact when the sparks begin to fly, when destruction and beauty seem to blur together. With this collection, Priscila Uppal offers the literary equivalent of playing with fire.

AUTHOR

Priscila Uppal

Dubbed by Time Out London as “Canada’s coolest poet,” Priscila Uppal was also a playwright, essayist, and fiction writer. Among her publications are ten collections of poetry, including Sabotage, Traumatology, and Ontological Necessities (Griffin Prize finalist); the novels The Divine Economy of Salvation and To Whom It May Concern; and the memoir Projection: Encounters with My Runaway Mother. Her works have been published internationally and translated into many languages. 6 Essential Questions is Priscila’s first play. Priscila passed away in 2018.

Reviews

Toronto poet, playwright, and fiction writer Priscila Uppal has the kind of wild imagination that constantly makes me think she might lose control in her stories, but she doesn?t. Instead, these 13 pieces . . . tread a marvellous line between the strange and the familiar. As a collection, Cover Before Striking effectively demonstrates Uppal?s remarkable talents.
– Quill & Quire

In 13 strong and distinctive pieces, Uppal appears to regard the short story as a superbly elastic form and an inviting opportunity to explore familiar human circumstances from fresh angles.
– Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

While the Toronto author?s focal points are traditional enough?family, love, marriage, death?the distinctive treatment she bestows on each illustrates the breadth of any given theme and Uppal?s singular talent for exploring it.
– Georgia Straight

Awards

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Excerpts & Samples ×
The most common phrase in print is “cover before striking,” a warning to those about to innocently strike a match to be careful not to burn their fingers.

Uppal’s characters in Cover Before Striking are all people pushing their lives to new levels of intensity, danger, or passion as they test their limits and those of the world. The pyromaniac at the heart of the title story ? winner of the Gloria Vanderbilt Short Fiction Prize ? desperately uses fire to reconnect with lost lovers and family members. In “Vertigo,” an injured Olympic athlete becomes a research guinea pig in a surreal scientific experiment. In “The Boy Next Door,” a teenager recounts how her mother took her and fled Canada for Brazil, along with the local Catholic priest.

Implacable and just a little unhinged, the stories of Cover Before Striking each move toward that moment of contact when the sparks begin to fly, when destruction and beauty seem to blur together. With this collection, Priscila Uppal offers the literary equivalent of playing with fire.

Reader Reviews

Details

Dimensions:

232 Pages
8.5in * 5.5in * 0.5354in
260gr

Published:

January 24, 2015

City of Publication:

Toronto

Country of Publication:

CA

Publisher:

Dundurn Press

ISBN:

9781459729520

Book Subjects:

FICTION / Short Stories

Featured In:

All Books

Language:

eng

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