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A strikingly original, tender, and darkly comic portrait of urban humanity in nine stories.
The Beggar's Garden marks the arrival of a hugely engaging new voice in Canadian fiction. Brilliantly sure-footed, strikingly original, tender and funny, this memorable collection of nine linked short stories will delight as well as disturb.
The stories follow a diverse group of curiously interrelated Vancouverites-from bank manager to crackhead to retired Samaritan to mental patient to web designer to car thief-as they struggle against a unifying sense of loss, all while drifting through each other's lives like ghosts in Vancouver's notorious Downtown Eastside. These darkly comic and intoxicating stories, gleefully free of moral judgment, are about people who are searching in the jagged margins of life-for homes, drugs, shelter, love, forgiveness-and collectively they offer a generous and vivid portrait of humanity, not just in Vancouver but in any modern urban centre. Stories range from the tragically funny opening story "Emergency Contact" to the audacious, drug-fuelled rush of "Goodbye Porkpie Hat" to the deranged and thrilling extreme of "King Me."
The Beggar's Garden is a powerful and affecting debut, written with an exceptional eye and ear and heart.
HarperCollins Canada, January 2011
Albin Michel, France