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Fiction Short Stories (single Author)

Juliet Was a Surprise

by (author) Bill Gaston

Penguin Group Canada
Initial publish date
Jun 2014
Short Stories (single author), Black Humor, Satire
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2014
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2014
    List Price

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Gaston’s characteristic keen insight and wit dazzle in this new collection. Readers will see the world through the prism of unfamiliar perspectives: a bank executive whose excellent sex life might in fact be killing her, an amorous tree surgeon better attuned to the values of his “patients” than to other people, a vacationing schizophrenic, a pizza-delivery boy convinced he’s witnessed magic—all struggling with the world as they see it.

This versatile collection—at times darkly playful, absurd, or shockingly real—illustrates how we can fail to understand the simplest of truths and how we are trapped by the peculiarities of our own points of view.

The Globe and Mail says that “Bill Gaston deserves to dwell in the company of Findlay, Atwood, and Munro as one of this country’s literary treasures.” In his hands, the outlandish becomes comprehensible and everyday life comes to look strange. What unifies these stories and their characters is the underlying faith in the humanity of even the most dangerously misguided among us.

Brazenly entertaining, but just as often heartbreaking, Juliet Was a Surprise portrays the humour and unfairness of life through the blunders and crimes of quixotic men and women with whom we can’t help but sympathize.

About the author

Bill Gaston grew up in Winnipeg, Toronto, and North Vancouver. After spending a dozen years in the Maritimes, he moved to Victoria in 1998 to teach writing at the University of Victoria. He has published a collection of poetry, several plays, three story collections, and three novels, with a fourth, The Good Body, due to appear in spring 2000. "Where It Comes From, Where It Goes" won the 1998 CBC/Saturday Night Canadian Literary Award for fiction and was published in Saturday Night in May 1999.

Bill Gaston's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“A celebration of the oddness of every life. . . the stories are poised, always, at the cusp of laughter, heartbreak and mystery. To read them is a heart-opening experience.” - Vancouver Sun

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