BIFB Side Project: May, Miranda Hill, Sleeping Funny

The Bare it for Books Calendar, sold in support of PEN Canada, is chock full of naked Canadian authors who stare at me from my wall and keep track of all my social engagements. It only made sense to read a book by each author in the month they grace. Click here for more info.

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“I never felt comfortable with the easy condemnation of my fellows.”

A short blog about short stories.

Every time I read a book of short stories I think, I should do this more often. It’s like binging on 20 minute episodes of 30 Rock instead of sitting down to watch Titanic. I mean I love Titanic but you gotta invest some time in that. Hill’s stories are compact, perfect to start and end in one subway ride or while killing time waiting for friends. You can actually pick a story size for the occasion, as they range anywhere from 11 to 60 some odd pages.

The content of the stories showed a vast range as well; everything from a late 1800s tale of a reverend, grave robber and pack of pigeons to a contemporary story of strangers in a hospital, waiting for a miracle patient to awake. My personal favourite was the oddly charming Apple, about a class of grade 8s taking sex-ed. Suddenly they see sex all around them – specifically, the exact circumstances of conception for everyone they know.

The back of the book presents a very apt description of the world of the stories inside, “one both recognizable and slightly askew, the world we sometimes glimpse when on the cusp of waking from a daydream” – hence, Sleeping Funny. They hold a hint of the absurd, things that could never happen in real life but are just ever so slightly over the border to strange they seem believable, not to mention entertaining.

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