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Short Story Celebration! With Carleigh Baker, Shashi Bhat and Terese Svoboda


Munro Books
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Join Munro’s Books for a Short Story Month Celebration!! We'll launch three exciting new short story collections by Carleigh Baker, Shashi Bhat, and Terese Svoboda!

From one of the country’s most celebrated new writers, Carleigh Baker, comes a blistering collection of short fiction that is bracingly relevant, playfully irreverent, and absolutely unforgettable.

There’s a hole in the ozone layer. Are teenage girls to blame? Floods and wildfires, toxic culture, billionaires in outer space, or a purse-related disaster while on mushrooms—in today’s hellscape world, there’s no shortage of things to worry about. Last Woman, the new collection of short fiction by award-winning author Carleigh Baker, wants you to know that you’re not alone. In these 13 brilliant new stories, Baker and her perfectly-drawn characters are here for you—in fact, they’re just as worried and weirded-out as everyone else. A woman’s dream of poetic solitude turns out to be a recipe for loneliness. A retiree is convinced that his silence is the only thing that will prevent a deadly sinkhole. An emerging academic wakes up and chooses institutional violence. A young woman finds sisterhood in a strange fertility ritual, and an enigmatic empath is on a cleanse. Baker’s characters are both wildly misguided and a product of the misguided times in which we live. Through them we see our world askew and skewered—and, perhaps, we can begin to see it anew. Carleigh Baker’s signature style is irreverent, but her heart is true—these stories delve into fear for the future, intergenerational misunderstandings, and the complexities of belonging with sharp wit and boundless empathy. With equal parts compassion and critique, she brings her clear-eyed attention to bear on our world, and the results are hilarious, heartbreaking, and startling in their freshness.

CARLEIGH BAKER is an author and teacher of nêhiyaw âpihtawikosisân and European descent. Born and raised on Stó:lō territory, she currently lives on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwəta (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. Her debut story collection, Bad Endings (Anvil Press, 2017), won the City of Vancouver Book Award, and was also a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and the Emerging Indigenous Voices Award for fiction.


From the Governor General’s Award-shortlisted author of The Most Precious Substance on Earth, Shashi Bhat, comes a breathtaking and sharply funny collection about the everyday trials and impossible expectations that come with being a woman: Death by a Thousand Cuts.

A writer discovers that her ex has published a novel about their breakup. An immunocompromised woman falls in love, only to have her body betray her. After her boyfriend makes an insensitive comment, a college student finds an experimental procedure that promises to turn her brown eyes blue. A Reddit post about a man’s habit of grabbing his girlfriend’s breasts prompts a shocking confession. An unsettling second date leads to the testing of boundaries. And when a woman begins to lose her hair, she embarks on an increasingly nightmarish search for answers. With honesty, tenderness, and a skewering wit, these stories boldly wrestle with rage, longing, illness, and bodily autonomy, and their inescapable impacts on a woman’s relationships with others and with herself.

SHASHI BHAT is the author of the novels The Family Took Shape, a finalist for the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, and, most recently, The Most Precious Substance on Earth, a finalist for the Governor General's Award for fiction. Death by a Thousand Cuts is her first book of short fiction. Her stories have won the Writers’ Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize and been shortlisted for a National Magazine Award and the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, and appeared in such publications as Hazlitt, The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, Best Canadian Stories, and The Journey Prize Stories. Shashi holds an MFA from the Johns Hopkins University and a BA from Cornell University. She lives in New Westminster, B.C., where she is the editor-in-chief of EVENT magazine and teaches creative writing at Douglas College.


In Terese Svoboda's The Long Swim, a runaway circus lion haunts a small town where two lovers risk more than their respective marriages. A junket to Cuba and an ambassador’s dalliance with a niece hide dark secrets and political revolution. “I’ve always had a knife,” says the unstable stepson to his parents. Inventive, dark, and absurd, the stories in The Long Swim capture Terese Svoboda’s clear-eyed, wry angle on the world: a place of violence and uncertainty but also wild beauty, adventure, and love both lasting and ephemeral. Her characters strive for escape—through romance, travel, or more self-destructive pursuits—and collide with the constraints of family and home, their longing for freedom and autonomy often at odds with the desire for safety and harmony. Cynical, irreverent, and formally daring, Svoboda’s stories in The Long Swim are a deft exploration of womanhood and humanity. Waves of provocation and wonder toss the reader and leave them wanting more.

TERESE SVOBODA is the author of over twenty books, including fiction, poetry, biography, translation, and memoir. Her two most recent novels are Dog on Fire and Roxy and Coco. Her many honors include a Guggenheim fellowship, the Bobst Prize in fiction, the Iowa Poetry Prize, an NEH translation grant, the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, a Jerome Foundation grant, the O. Henry Award for the short story, and a Pushcart Prize for the essay.


WHEN: Wednesday, May 29th at 7:00 p.m. (doors at 6:30).

WHERE: In-store at Munro's Books, 1108 Government St. in Victoria.

WHAT: Readings from new work by Carleigh Baker, Shashi Bhat, and Terese Svoboda, followed by a Q&A with the audience and book signings. Refreshments will be provided.

HOW: This event is free to attend.

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