What a thing to wake up to! I’m so happy to be included on this list with a bunch of talented writers!
Wow, this is more of a deep read than a review, and it took my breath away. It’s an honour to have someone look at my writing this thoroughly. Many thanks to Aaron and The Rusty Toque!
“In these stories, Baker wrestles with the unresolvable problems of life. She doesn’t offer solutions, escapes or easy resolutions. Instead, she probes the tangles at the heart of her characters, revealing with grace and precision the contours of their difficult lives. And, in the end, Bad Endings make for great stories.”
As someone who has been writing reviews for the Globe for a few years, I can’t deny I’ve been dreaming about one day seeing my work reviewed there. I really appreciate the way Jade Colbert brought a discussion of theory and politics into her review, because it’s there, but I was worried these things might get lost in the whirlwind of messiness and emotion I was also trying to create. So many thanks to Colbert and Globe Books, for giving Bad Endings some page space!
“Baker pushes readers to reconsider their desire for resolution. Eschewing the easy, the neat, the smoothed over, allows us to consider the things about ourselves we might not like. There’s a political dimension to this. One thread running through this book is the threat of environmental collapse – drought, massive bee death, dwindling salmon stock – and humans’ awkward interventions.”
Reading Francine Cunningham’s Complex 2675 reminded me of Twin Peaks: dark and surreal, with high emotional stakes edging on satire, and intense visuals. I was so taken by how visual the piece was, I contacted Cunningham (who is also a talented visual artist) to see if she was interested in providing illustrations for the story. I thought we could present Complex 2675 in a serialized format, with new episodes (or “issues”) every week for four weeks, giving readers the opportunity to revisit the lives of Mary, Gerry, Sarah, and other residents of an apartment building where everyone spends way too much time thinking about themselves or nosing around in each other’s business (so kind of like real life then). I recommend reading it with the slow pacing those old nineties TV shows had, and a sense of weird foreboding.
“The online magazine Joyland — who have published two of Baker’s stories if you want a preview — say they are “pretty sure she’s the new master of relationship tragicomedy,” but I would argue that she may be master of endings, too.”
Many thanks to Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer and the Hamilton Review of Books for this very generous review of Bad Endings. My dad just emailed and told me not to go getting a big head!
“There never seem to be any answers in the stories in Bad Endings; rather, the questions Baker poses are of such quiet magnitude that we don’t need them.”
Thanks very much to Andrew MacDonald and Matrix for this lovely review of Bad Endings that, (according to reports) made my parents choke up a little!
This is great! I’m very honoured to be included on Lit Reactor’s 10 New Female Authors That Should be on Your Radar list! I’m in very good company. Thanks to Gabino Iglesias @ Lit Reactor.