“She stays silent for the time it takes to determine that there are two dots, and then to find the words to defuse the bomb she’s about to drop. I pretend to listen but I’m already gone.”
A beautiful short story by Catherine Leroux from the collection Madame Victoria.
A short story from Arvida, finalist for the 2016 Best Translated Book Award.
“They say that when you look out to sea, you feel just as tiny as you do beneath the dark sky of night. That you disappear into the vastness of it all. That’s really all we’re hoping for today. To vanish into the dense, liquid air of a white shoreline. Marie is dead.”
“Some things in life are just hard to explain to your kids, you know? But you still have to try; it’s usually worth it.
Take my daughter Anne, for instance, who was asking why two of her playmates always speak English with each other, even though they have French names and their parents speak French. That’s weird. How come?
Well it just so happens that I kind of know their family.”
As a writer, Robert A. Poirier is in no hurry. Details and descriptions build like moss on a rock. At times, the writing is as crystal clear as river water. At others, it’s as tangled and sprawling as a busy forest floor. Gruff conversation gives way to dry dates softened in warm tea. Even in the few stories not directly set in the great outdoors, nature usually gets a say (in a Christmas Eve snowstorm, for example). Characters whisper softly “like an eddy as it swirls, flowing downstream with the current” as Poirier brings nature to life, with its sights and sounds and smells. All in all, it’s a pleasant stroll through this collection of short stories in an outdoor world of spring and thaw and Malamutes.