Cover image for Wallflowers : stories
Title:
Wallflowers : stories
Author:
Robertson, Eliza., author.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Short stories. Selections
Edition:
First U.S. Edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Bloomsbury, 2014.
Physical Description:
295 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
"In the opening story of Wallflowers, a girl is cat-sitting for her neighbor, sleeping in the neighbor's house. It's nearly identical to her mother's nearby--in the Copper Waters subdivision, they all are--but she likes it here, eating boiled eggs and watching TV, feeling out her freedom as heavy rains fall. And then a nearby dike fails. And the girl may be the only one left in Copper Waters.Eliza Robertson can handle the shocking turn, but she also has a knack for the slow surprise, the realization that settles around you like snow. Her stories are deftly constructed and their perspectives--often those of the loners and onlookers, distanced by their gifts of observation--are unexpected. In "We Walked on Water, " winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, a brother and sister train together for a race that will ultimately separate them forever. In "L'Etranger, " shortlisted for the CBC Short Story Prize, a girl abroad in Marseille reconsiders her unendearing roommate after an intimate confrontation. Robertson was raised on rugged Vancouver Island. She's traveled broadly since, and her stories travel, too, but the climate of her collection is influenced by her home. These carefully cultivated forms still flare with wildness, and each is still spacious enough for a reader to get lost in wonder"--
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781620408155
Format :
Book

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Central Library FICTION Adult Fiction Central Library
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Summary

Summary

In the opening story of Wallflowers , a girl is cat-sitting for her neighbor, sleeping in the neighbor's house. It's nearly identical to her mother's nearby-in the Copper Waters subdivision, they all are-but she likes it here, eating boiled eggs and watching TV, feeling out her freedom as heavy rains fall. And then a nearby dike fails. And the girl may be the only one left in Copper Waters.

Eliza Robertson can handle the shocking turn, but she also has a knack for the slow surprise, the realization that settles around you like snow. Her stories are deftly constructed and their perspectives-often those of the loners and onlookers, distanced by their gifts of observation-are unexpected. In "We Walked on Water," winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, a brother and sister train together for a race that will ultimately separate them forever. In "L'#65533;tranger," shortlisted for the CBC Short Story Prize, a girl abroad in Marseille reconsiders her unendearing roommate after an intimate confrontation.
Robertson was raised on rugged Vancouver Island. She's traveled broadly since, and her stories travel, too, but the climate of her collection is influenced by her home. These carefully cultivated forms still flare with wildness, and each is still spacious enough for a reader to get lost in wonder.


Author Notes

Eliza Robertson was born in Vancouver, Canada, and raised on Vancouver Island. She studied at the University of Victoria, then pursued her M.A. in Prose Fiction at the University of East Anglia, where she received the Man Booker Scholarship and the Curtis Brown Prize. In Canada, she has won three national fiction contests and been a finalist for the Journey Prize and the CBC Short Story Prize. She most recently won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, and is currently at work on a novel.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This collection of short fiction by Robertson, whose brilliant stories have won literary awards and who was a finalist for the Canadian Journey Prize, provides short story aficionados hours of reading pleasure. Robertson is a master of the slow reveal, making readers wait patiently for comprehension as a story takes its course. Where Have You Fallen, Have You Fallen? begins with two young adults who have reached an understanding and works its way backward in seven sections to explain how that happened. Love and loss characterize many of the stories. Ship's Log, set shortly after the end of WWI, depicts the bizarre behavior of a grieving boy caused by the loss of his grandfather. One of the shortest stories, We Walked on Water, is told in first person by a young man traveling to an Ironman competition by bus as he looks back on the previous year, when he trained for the same event with his sister. This astoundingly consistent volume should be in every library's collection.--Loughran, Ellen Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

In Robertson's debut collection, her moody homeland of Vancouver Island and the nature of human independence set a tone of poetic grace. The impressive opener "Who Will Water the Wallflowers" follows a girl cat-sitting for the neighbors as flood waters force her, with the pet nestled in her housecoat, to scale the rooftops to safety. The brief but emotionally crushing "L'Etranger" finds a young female scholar in southern France contending with an irksome Ukrainian roommate until the woman reveals devastating news and abandons the home. The epistolary "Roadnotes," told in one-sided missives from sibling to sibling, is a subtle meditation on family and memory. "Sea Life" deftly illustrates the tragic and beautiful way humanity intervenes for a husband and wife at their beach community, even at the most inconvenient of times. In spots, Robertson's writing may be too precious and overly embellished-"Thoughts, Hints and Anecdotes..." is an interlinked barrage of artfully crafted, female-focused snippets of household tips, advice, observant mannerisms, and curious incidents. Overall, however, the collection shimmers with lush imagery as in the lovely closing story (winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize) set in British Columbia, where brother and sister triathletes find common ground while conditioning their bodies, but are unprepared for a tragic end result. Through the varying perspectives of loners, lovers, and misfits, Robertson distinguishes herself as a uniquely talented writer to watch. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


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