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Catherine Hogan Safer (CA)

Wild Pieces

Wild Pieces

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One has lost a child and paints her house blue, another has found a not-so-handy man she can't get rid of; one perches in a tree and observes the neighbourhood, and yet another goes off into the woods with Jesus. These are some of the "wild pieces" that fill Catherine Hogan Safer's remarkable new book, Wild Pieces - characters as wry and quirky and heart-wrenching as the short stories in which Safer brings them to life. In language, taut and beautifully controlled, perfectly pitched and witty, Safer creates an array of unforgettable people. She finds the humble beauty in the life of a woman who spends each day knitting unmatched socks in the mall, and the pathos of a man who gathers small pieces of his father's life. At once very funny and very sad, here is the dignity of lives lived slightly slant.To enter these stories is to engage the wildness, the deep ache, the possibility of being alive.

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Breakwater Books


Catherine Hogan Safer was born in Newfoundland's Codroy Valley and raised in Gander. Over the years she has been a waitress, bartender, flight attendant, real estate agent, restaurant manager, book promoter and on and on. She prefers writing, painting and gardening to any of those, though the money is not as good. Her work has been well-received. Bishop's Road was short-listed for the in Canada first novel award. What if Your Mom Made Raisin Buns? was short-listed for the Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award and won the Marianna Dempster Award in Nova Scotia. Catherine is not a prolific writer. She has to be in the mood. She took up painting two years ago in the hope that her muse might be hanging about the acrylics. She wasn't, although the writing has become a little more abstract. Catherine lives in St. John's, Newfoundland, a marvelous terrible place which she adores and despises in equal measure.

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