When you meet Bill Stenson’s sharply rendered characters, you will see those people whom you know and maybe even catch a glimpse of yourself in the process. What you won’t expect are the highly unpredictable situations that he creates for them, and the diagonal humour Stenson employs to herald his approach to fiction. Life does look different from up in a tree, and the man who lives in the root cellar in his long johns has something to tell you. Maybe you will discover what it is like to be an out-of-control pacifist or determine the psychological value of a good pair of shoes. In Translating Women, Stenson performs on the high wire between short story and tale, manipulating narratives while deftly abstracting them.
“Bill Stenson’s stories fly easily as kites in a blue sky in the best wind. However high they soar — often high indeed — they are as down-to-earth as honey and jam. A fine and fascinating collection.”
— Leon Rooke
“Like Twain and Kinsella, Bill Stenson’s work has a glint in its eye. Make room on your shelf for his stories, and make his characters feel welcome, for they are people you know.”
— Bill Gaston
“The people in Bill Stenson’s stories may dance the cha-cha and work the green chain, but what they do best is break your heart. Stenson paints men and women as they are: honest and foolish and brimful of hope, the kind of people who know that “when there’s no good answer to a question, the wisest thing to do is say nothing at all.” I know these people. I’ve met them. I like them.”
— Terence Young
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