“[An] elegant collection . . . Windley’s writing is calm and at times hypnotic, and her prose rhythms paint pictures of their own; she knows how to create the restful quiet of gentle waves breaking on a beach. And her images, often occurring in the context of dreams, can be startlingly lovely.” Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times
978-0-8021-4453-9 • $14.00 • Paperback • Mar. 2010
Home Schoolinga mesmerizing collection in which “each story . . . is denser and more alive than many novels” (The Vancouver Sun)marks the American debut of a mature, masterful storyteller who has won several major awards in her native Canada and been nominated for the Giller Prize.
Set against the moody landscape of Vancouver Island and the thrumming cities of the Pacific Northwest, the stories in Home Schooling uncover the hidden freight of families: in the title story, two sisters contend with their idealistic father’s sudden inability to provide for their family, and their own separate attraction to the same boy; in “What Saffi Knows,” a woman, now a mother herself, returns to a moment in her past when she held the knowledge that might have saved another child, but not the language with which to convey it; and in “Family in Black,” a young woman finds the contours of her world permanently changed when her mother suddenly abandons her father for a man who embodies everything her mother taught her to despise. In these stories, families dissolve and reform in new and startling configurations: ghosts appear, the past intrudes and overwhelms the present, familiar terrain takes on a hostile aspect, and happiness often depends on unlikely alliances.
With the invisibly perfect craftsmanship of Alice Munro, and the flesh-andblood sense of place of Annie Proulx, Carol Windley carves out territory all her own in these stories, each one a richly imagined and generous world that will stay with the reader for a long time.