The fact that Bonnie Dunlop’s first short story collection possesses such power should not astonish readers who have heard her stories on CBC or read them in Canadian magazines and journals. The stories in The Beauty Box are traditional in the way they offer familiar settings, events, and characters, or the way Dunlop’s quiet voice directs our attention; however, they evolve beyond tradition in the controlled, purposeful way that Dunlop’s details are measured. Her appreciation for minutiae whether it be the meticulous attention to dress expressed by a gay bachelor, or the ritual motions of snakes in a well house create indelible moments, and lead the reader into Dunlop’s character’s fortunes. This is the debut of a distinctive and powerful new voice in Canadian short fiction.
“If these characters — with all their quirks, obsessions and secrets — were gathered together for a dinner party, I’d definitly want to be in that room. These entertaining stories deserve a wide audience . . . ” — Shelley A. Leedahl