“Like meeting a stranger, much of the pleasure of a story is its unknown power,” writes Best Canadian Stories 2020 guest editor Paige Cooper. “The right story, at the right time, if you happen to be open to it … can perhaps move you so far outside of yourself that you will not consider going back.” From Festival du Voyageur to the shores of Lake Erie, Tbilisi to Toronto, the Amisk River to a hotel-turned-hospital in the midst of a mysterious pandemic, this wide-ranging anthology brings together the real and the speculative, small towns and big cities, grief and humour, introducing readers to stories that startle us into new understanding—of ourselves and each other, the worlds we inhabit and the ones they help us to imagine.
Featuring work by:
Maxime Raymond Bock • Lynn Coady • Kristyn Dunnion • Omar El Akkad • Camilla Grudova • Conor Kerr • Alex Leslie • Thea Lim • Madeleine Maillet • Cassidy McFadzean • Michael Melgaard • Jeff Noh • Casey Plett • Eden Robinson • Naben Ruthnum • Pablo Strauss • Souvankham Thammavongsa
“Three other stories — Drago, by Michael Melgaard, The Gas Station, by 2020 Giller winner Souvankham Thammavongsa and, most notably, Daughter of Cups by Kristyn Dunnion — offer unsparing looks at the outsiders of society, or the people one sees and either ignores or wonders about. Each, especially Daughter of Cups (which dares a flourish of the surreal, even in its unrelenting realism), concerns the underclass or those on society’s fringes, living their daily disappointments.” —Rory Runnells, Winnipeg Free Press