In stories of stark passion and haunting trauma, Contrary Angel finds an acute clarity in those moments when human desires meet the sorcery of the world. The stories are exuberantly diverse in both subject matter and technique, as evidenced by a few of their titles: 'Urchipelago', 'Karaoke Mon Amour', 'Cogagwee', 'Do Not Stand Outside the Grande Restaurant.' They take us from the brilliant career of the runner Tom Longboat to the comic machinations of a peeping Tom landlord. The final four-story sequence, 'Doctors', follows an Egypt-obsessed girl from a savage childhood incident through her 'running' years as an athlete, traveller, wife and doctor, culminating in a devastating encounter in an operating room in the middle of the night.
Stories from Contrary Angel have appeared twice in The Journey Anthology, twice in Best Canadian Stories, and won the Silver Medal at the National Magazine Awards.
About the Author:
Mike Barnes is the author of Calm Jazz Sea, shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, Aquarium, winner of the 1999 Danuta Gleed Award for best first book of stories by a Canadian, and The Syllabus, a novel. His stories have appeared twice in Best Canadian Stories, three times in The Journey Prize Anthology, and won the Silver Medal for Fiction at the National Magazine Awards. He was the subject of a feature issue of The New Quarterly (Summer 2001) which included an interview and three new stories. Formerly a piano teacher, fishing guide, janitor, steelworker, dishwasher, clock salesman, security guard, English teacher, in recent years he has been working as a private tutor. He lives in Toronto.