Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Featured Fiction: Long Story Short by Elyse Friedman

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Featured Fiction: Long Story Short by Elyse Friedman

Elyse Friedman, author of Long Story Short, will be reading at the Toronto Reference Library on October 18 at 7:00 p.m. and at Anansi’s Fortieth Anniversary Celebration at the Harbourfront Centre on October 20 at 8:00 p.m.

Long Story Short
A Novella and Stories
House of Anansi Press, 2007
280 pages
Elyse Friedman's fiction, described as "part Kafka, part South Park" (Toronto Star), is as funny as it is fierce, as witty as it is empathetic. Here, in her best, most mature, and most nuanced work, she offers a dark, comically off-beat, and surprisingly heartbreaking novella about a young man who copes with the passage into adulthood by cultivating an almost fanatically ironic view of the world, but who is ultimately forced to deliver a death blow to irony -- which visits him in the form of a washed-up '80s sitcom star.

In the accompanying handful of short stories, Friedman demonstrates her sure touch with everyday situations and her uncanny, precise ability to expose the strangeness at the heart of "normal." Her moving story "The Soother," about a middle-aged man who copes with intense demands from family and friends by visiting a prostitute he pays to coddle and soothe him, won Gold at the 2006 National Magazine Awards for fiction and was published in the Toronto Life summer fiction issue. A second story, "Lost Kitten," was also nominated for a 2006 National Magazine Award, and "Truth" was selected for the Journey Prize Anthology and appeared in Best Canadian Stories.

Elyse Friedman was born in Toronto, attended film school, and worked for over a decade as an assistant producer, producer, and writer in various capacities, including at YTV and for CBC Radio in Winnipeg, where she wrote and produced comedy segments for the shows Brand X and Definitely Not the Opera. In 2000, she published a novel, Then Again (Random House Canada/Vintage) which was shortlisted for the 2000 Trillium Book Award. During this time, Friedman returned to Toronto to study screenwriting at the Canadian Film Centre, and since then she has written several feature-length scripts, and published a second novel, Waking Beauty. Friedman has contributed poems and short fiction to literary journals and anthologies across Canada and in the US.

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