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- Winner of the 2014 Trade Fiction Book Award at the Alberta Book Awards!
“So I have always walked alleys alone, with my monster face, listening through a wall for the words that might cultivate me, that are contained within the homes of ex-lovers, the ones who caught a glimpse and ran away.”
In the neon-slick streets of Thea Bowering’s imagination, monster girls and femme flâneurs roam, anthropologist’s eyes on barroom denizens, disguising themselves in men’s clothing and embarking on doomed love affairs. Old World meets New World as the cafés and piazzas of Europe’s capitals intermingle with the dust and desolation of the 21st Century modern West.
Strikingly modern while also filled with fin de siècle regret, Thea Bowering’s first story collection is shot through with allusion and timeless themes given new life.
“Love at Last Sight spills with witty, intelligent stories that sneakily uncover the secret rococo in the everyday. Bowering’s gift makes her version of the familiar frightening but still desirable, unexpected and funny. Every story in this collection is a jewel.”
“This stellar debut collection of stories—mercurial, polished, philosophical, funny—is a series of histoires d’amour set in the bars and streets of urban Edmonton, written with multiple ironic voices. Thea Bowering has a knack for locating the instabilities of the literary present in these gifted, lively tales about memory and perception, love and conduct.”
“Thea Bowering’s comprehension and skill with the short story is extremely enticing. Love at Last Sight is a wonderful display of a finely balanced poetic intelligence applied to this narrative form. The stories are full of books and authors, mythological, and personal echoes; Roland Barthes, Robert Kroetsch, her own upbringing in the midst of an intense literary household, frame a vibrant pastiche of biofiction. Her craft with the paragraph, that hard nut to crack in writing prose, is one of the best I’ve seen in Canadian fiction. Bowering’s project here is to use the story as an innovative witness to the range and magnetism of her own moment.”
"A remarkable voice, Bowering is a welcome addition to the Canadian literary scene."
"[L]eads the reader through an urban minefield of literary references, from Deadmonton to Denmark as love's shrapnel embeds itself into the characters, none of them sure if they are living out novels or their own lives."
"Bowering is an inventive and original writer, unafraid to be playful and take unexpected turns."
"It's a complete inversion of how women, particularly young women, are 'supposed' to walk the streets."
"Inventive and playful, hyper-literate and allusive — Love At Last Sight by Thea Bowering reclaims and expands the archetype of the flâneur with a fresh, brash, bold new literary voice in Canadian literature." (full review)
"Bowering’s literary turf is urban and gritty, with thoroughly modern and often angsty stories about young men and women." full review
"This is essential Edmonton reading, right up there with the best we have to offer." full review