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Fiction General

Paradise and Elsewhere

by (author) Kathy Page

Initial publish date
Mar 2014
  • CD-Audio

    Publish Date
    Jul 2018
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2014
    List Price

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Nominated for the 2014 Giller Prize

The rubble of an ancient civilization. A village in a valley from which no one comes or goes. A forest of mother-trees, whispering to each other through their roots; a lakeside lighthouse where a girl slips into human skin as lightly as an otter into water; a desert settlement where there was no conflict, before she came; or the town of Wantwick, ruled by a soothsayer, where tourists lose everything they have. These are the places where things begin. &nbsp New from the author of The Story of My Face and Alphabet, Paradise & Elsewhere is a collection of dark fables at once familiar and entirely strange: join the Orange Prize-nominated Kathy Page as she notches a new path through the wild, lush, half-fantastic and half-real terrain of fairy tale and myth.&nbsp&nbsp

&nbsp Praise for Paradise & Elsewhere

"Moody, shape-shifting, provocative and always as compelling as a strong light at the end of a road you hesitate to walk down... but will."-Amy Bloom

"This vibrant, startlingly imaginative collection reminded me-as few collections have done in recent years-of both where stories come from, and why we need to tell them.&nbsp&nbspKathy Page is a massive talent:&nbsp&nbspwise, smart, very funny and very humane."-Barbara Gowdy

Praise for Kathy Page

"Marvellously well-crafted ... I can't remember the last time I was so compelled, impressed and unsettled."-Sarah Waters

&nbsp "One of our most daring writers ... Ifyou don't know Page's work yet, she's a find."-Caroline Adderson

&nbsp "Softly painterly, sharply filmic or as murky as those first television images of the moon landing."- Times Literary Supplement

About the author

Kathy Page's seven novels include The Story of My Face, long-listed for the Orange Prize in 2002; Alphabet, shortlisted for a Governor General's Award in 2005; and The Find, shortlisted for the 2011 ReLit Novel Award. She is also a winner of the Bridport International Prize for short fiction and the Traveller Award, and a contributor to many prose anthologies. Kathy teaches creative writing at Vancouver Island University, and is a member of the Federation of BC Writers and the Writers Union of Canada. She lives on Salt Spring Island with her husband and two children.

Please visit

Kathy Page's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"I really love the attention to a language that drives itself straight into me as a reader and holds me there, alive and waiting the next word. It's thrilling for me to experience ... terrific." - Peter Levitt, author of One Hundred Butterflies

"Best known as a literary realist, Kathy Page (nominated for the Orange Prize for The Story of My Face ) has created a collection of 14 fabulist short stories that ... demonstrate her impressive creative abilities." - Publisher's Weekly"Rebelling against a literary orthodoxy that holds up stalwart realism as the true writer's best and only friend, [Page is] obviously comfortable with exotic tales that don't fall into preordained categories and which unfold in ways equally unpredictable and strange... marvellous ... immersive and mystery-laden." - Vancouver Sun

"Resonantly imaginative." - Georgia Straight

"Her fiction is sensuous and verdant, grafting lyrical prose onto stories and situations that appear almostas legends ... Page recalls Angela Carter in these stories, employing fable and myth, along with Gothic elements and moments of horror, to jar her reader out of a settled complacency." - National Post

"A mind-bending collection of stories about transformation and adaptation, full of startling ideas, capricious characters and uncanny goings-on ... Paradise & Elsewhere is composed of elastic language and distorted reflections, each story boldly illuminating as it playfully confounds." - Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Kathy Page has made me love short stories with this wonderful, visceral, and sometimes disturbing collection...The stories are surreal and strange, with a strong undercurrent of human emotion coursing through them ... The writing is elegant, but often fills you with disbelief ... The book, as a whole, is a work of art". - Worn Pages and Ink

"Extraordinary ... edgy and deeply disturbing ...I was often reminded of the very best kind of travel reportage that not onlytransports you to foreign climes but describes the culture, the food, the people and tries to put it into context." - Reading Matters

The Canadian author Kathy Page has been compared by critics to Angela Carter, and it's easy to understand why ... as with Carter, Page enlists the tone of myth and fable to tell nuanced feminist stories, to undermine mythic structures by grounding them in the body. But whereas Carter is using fairy tales to talk about the cruelty and power of fairy tales, for Page the mythic idiom is a means, is incidental ... Whereas Carter rejects the comforts of myth, treats it as patriarchal structure to be opened wetly by the recursive blade of fairy tale, for Page the fantastic, the mythic, is a means to tell the story of connection and transcendence, of escape. In service of that story she ropes into these odd tales discussion of tourism, of loneliness, of possibility, of tea. Carter beats on iron that we might hear the din; Page, in this remarkable collection,would rather watch the sparks. - Music & Literature

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