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All Sleek and Skimming

240 pages
A collection of compelling short fiction for older teen readers.
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All Sleek andSkimming
stories
Edited by Lisa Heggum
OrcaBookPublishers
Copyright: Collection and editor’s note copyright © 2006 by Lisa Heggum Stories copyright © 2006 by the authors
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
National Library of Canada Cataloguing in Publication Data
All sleek and skimming: stories / edited by Lisa Heggum.
Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 1-55143-447-4
1. Short stories, Canadian (English) 2. Canadian fiction (English)--21st century. I. Heggum, Lisa, 1969-PS8321.A54 2006 jC813’.010806 C2006-900062-X
Summary: A collection of compelling short fiction for older teen readers.
First published in the United States 2006 Library of Congress Control Number: 2005939037
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program (BPIDP), the Canada Council for the Arts, and the British Columbia Arts Council.
Cover graphics and design: Lynn O’Rourke
Orca Book Publishers Box 5626, Stn. B Victoria, BC Canada V8R 6S4
Orca Book Publishers PO Box 468 Custer, WA USA 98240-0468
Printed and bound in Canada
10 09 08 07 06 • 5 4 3 2 1
For Mark
Going to the library is my favorite thing in school. He only thing that would be better is if there was a class where you sat around listening to records. s,liilcGManIA Tourist’s Guide to Glengarry
She told me Tash had stopped believing in God. No, I whispered. Yes, said my mom. I couldn’t fathom it. I didn’t get it. Hat fucking library card, man. Miriam Toews,A Complicated Kindness
Acknowledgments฀
Introduction฀
Contents
TrueConfessionssaMtrBhaokro
TheDeningMomentsofMyLife
TheDelugedelaSurthAr
PaulintheMetro
Mermaid฀in฀a฀Jar—
AnneFleming
Michel฀Rabagliati
Sheila฀Heti
RealLifeSlowMotionShow
TheCatCameBack
CarrieMac
IvanE.Coyote
TheJeweleramroDkckereCcM
RecorderLessonyoelBirnaD
TheUnfortunateLnosredneHee
Making฀the฀Dragon—htSimh.MnaanSsu
Dawn—Tim฀Wynne-Jones
Fish-Sitting—damsonGliA
x
i
xiii
1
19
35
41
55
57
65
69
71
77
105
111
127
ThisIstheStoryofMyFamily
TheLegacyJames฀Heneghan
RockPaperScissors
StuartRoss
SusanKernohan
The฀Art฀of฀Embalming—
Diana฀Aspin
CampingatWal-MartAnia฀Szado
GiantStrawberryFunland
Piglet—notanetJaughMcN
Alchemy—eladneeihiTMen Slice—winaGyrBraAbouttheAuthorsStorySources
JoeOllmann
137
139
147
157
169
175
195
201 213 217 223
Acknowledgments
his anthology has been a long time T in the making and wouldn’t have happened without the help and support of some special people. anks to the talented contributors, whose stories inspired me and whose enthusiasm for the project pushed me forward. anks to the amazing people at Orca, especially Bob Tyrrell, who made it immediately apparent the book had found a good home; Andrew Wooldridge, whose understanding, guidance and remarkable patience wowed me repeatedly; Lynn O’Rourke, who put such thought and care into the book’s design; and Maureen Colgan, who helped spread the word. anks to Laura Reed and Blair Ratsoy for believing in this book from the start, and to the Pickering Public Library Teen Advisory Group members, especially Pamela Korgemagi, for their early feedback. anks to Hadley Dyer for her young adult publishing expertise and for noticing the lack of sock puppets in my desk drawer, and to Alana Wilcox for explaining the anthology ropes. anks to my friends at the Toronto Public Library, especially Dawna Rowlson, for too many things to mention; Brenda Livingston, for lending me Close to Spider Man;Susan Kernohan, for turning me on toSimple Recipes;and the tireless Maria A. Shchuka Youth Advisory Group members, for their reading, responses and recommendations. anks to the Ontario, Canadian and American library associations for the opportunities and all that I have learned through them. anks to Anne Fournier for translating. And thanks to my family and loved ones, especially my mother, Dorothy Heggum, for introducing me to books and the public library; Mary DeCaria, Cherie Robertson and Wendy Leavoy (then Heggum) for helping me through my teen years; and my husband, Mark Truscott, whose love, support and poetry make everything better, including me.
Introduction
hat teenager in his or her right W mind is going to pay attention to books shelved, reviewed or considered for awards alongside children’s books? is is something I’ve asked myself and others repeatedly while working as a teen services librarian. I’ve had countless conversations with teens who, as a result of teen litera-ture’s association with books for younger readers, think young adult books are too simple or out of touch, or both. ey often skip them entirely and turn to adult books, thinking they’re more challenging. But these readers tend to have trouble locating literary works that deal with issues directly relevant to their lives. is anthology combines young adult fiction and adult fiction with teen appeal. It gathers stories of interest to older teen readers, a neglected group. It recontextualizes young adult literature by associating it with adult litera-ture rather than children’s, and I hope it changes the way books for teens are published. If you’re a teen and you pick up this book, I hope you’ll delve into these stories of adolescence and that they’ll make a difference in your life. ey’re funny, nasty, playful, heartbreaking, angry, honest, authentic and surreal. ey’re about family, friends, obstacles, searching, love, loss, music, sex, discovery and growing up. eir characters observe, explore, explain, confuse, disturb, create, experiment, connect, transform, rebel, excite, endure and inspire. Once you finish reading these stories, make sure you check out the books they come from and other books by their authors. Talk to your public or school librarian to discover more great books to read. If you don’t have a librarian specializing in teen services in your school or public library, then write a letter of complaint to the school or library board. One last thing: if you happen to find this book in a children’s section some-where, please ask the staff to move it to the teen section, where it belongs.
Thanks, and enjoy! Lisa Heggum