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May 18 , 2009

Red Girl Rat Boy


"Complicated, passionate, genuine."-Chatelaine
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Women. Young women, old women. The hair-obsessed, the politically driven, the sure-footed, the bony-butted, the awkward and compulsive and alone. Sleep-deprived and testy. Exhausted and accepting. Among the innumerable wives, husbands, sisters, and in-laws vexed by short temper and insecurity throughout this short story collection, Cynthia Flood's protagonists stand out as citizens of a reality that the rest of the world will only partially understand. New from the Journey Prize–winning author, Red Girl Rat Boy is a collection of astonishing range and assured technique, whose voices-gothic, peculiar, domestic, and strange-remain as passionate and complex as ever.


"Cynthia Flood is full of surprises. If there’s one thing that characterizes her elegant, crystal-sharp short stories, it’s that element of surprise – in the eccentric characters, the quirky plots, the skewed perspectives, the breath-taking language. You never know what to expect from Flood, and what you get is always unexpected. These are not conventional stories by any means, but they reward the attentive reader with surprise and delight."-Dave Margoshes, author of A Book of Great Worth

"At the heart of these stories is the roughness of human existence and the very difficult work of living one's life. There's a rare honesty to Flood's writing. Her eye is unflinching, her language energetic and precise, her vision bracing, passionate and entirely lacking in sentimentality."-Nancy Richler, author of The Imposter Bride

"Revenge and politics season this potent and passionate collection of stories. Flood excavates indelible histories that haunt even those who've shaken the dust of the past."-Aritha van Herk, author of Judith

"The notary in 'Dirty Work' has 'retired from witnessing how rough human existence is.' Fortunately for us, Cynthia Flood has not. True, her normally not-of-literary-interest characters intrigue, but it is her linguist-like attentiveness to dialogue that astonishes. In each story we observe and feel the impact of this fact: the seemingly mundane things we say determine how we perceive (and don’t perceive) everything. In every respect, Cynthia Flood’s narrative acuity confirms that she is among our great North American fiction writers."-Betsy Warland, author of Breathing the Page-Reading the Act of Writing

"Cynthia Flood’s stories in Red Girl Rat Boy whirl though a sometimes bewildering kaleidoscopic world. Her quirky characters-strangers and neighbours, kids and comrades-dart and duck through fragments of memory, needy and demanding. Raw energy is their territory. There is mystery and mayhem in the family, in the party, in the house across the street, and in a few characters you hope you will never meet in a dark alley. This is a superb collection.”-Laurie Lewis, author of Little Comrades
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