This debut collection of stories — featuring a talk-show host and her talking hand, a women’s activity group that writes to prisoners, and a poncho-making nudist — is as unique as it is compelling. Set in their own melodramatic worlds, the stories take inspiration from Old Hollywood, Gothic novels, art-world gossip, and maybe a Lifetime movie or two. Balzer's observations are as sharp as Flaubert’s, and his characters are drawn with the complexity of George Saunders (and the wit of George Sanders). Beautifully illustrated throughout, Contrivances proves that tragedy is comedy when you play with it long enough.
David Balzer is a Winnipeg-born, Toronto-based writer, editor and teacher. He has contributed pieces on art and film to The Believer, Artforum.com and The Globe and Mail. Contrivances is his first book. For more information, visit his website: www.davidkbalzer.com.
Published: May 2012
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.