Wild Pieces

Catherine Hogan Safer to Read at the Winterset in Summer Literary Festival 2017, Breakwater Books, St. John’s, August 2017.

“Authors, Ale and Acoustics”, Fog Lit Festival, Saint John, New Brunswick, October 1, 2016.

“12 Great Books from Newfoundland and Labrador”, CBC/Radio Canada, St. John’s, May 4, 2016.

“Catherine Hogan Safer Wins Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction”, The Telegram, St. John’s, April 28, 2016.

“Five N.L. Books Make Short List for Atlantic Book Awards”, The Telegram, St. John’s, March 30, 2016.

Wild Pieces

One has lost a child and paints her house blue, another has found a not-so-handy man she can’t get rid of; one perches in a tree and observes the neighbourhood, and yet another goes off into the woods with Jesus. These are some of the “wild pieces” that fill Catherine Hogan Safer’s remarkable new book, Wild Pieces – characters as wry and quirky and heart-wrenching as the short stories in which Safer brings them to life.

Praise for Wild Pieces:

“These stories are steeped in the words of children as they struggle through the world of adults. And underneath it all a spirit blooms. Hogan Safer opens the magic hinge in our lives where the rest of the world leaks in. Imagine the country songs of Bobbie Gentry mashed up on the hymns of Loretta Lynn. Funny, acerbic, tragic, gothic, fantastic, this is Newfoundland Nashville as written by the old, pre-rhinestone storytellers, of when they were young and true, when they saw the fabric of the world, beneath the glitz, as it really is.”

— Michael Winter, author, This All Happened  and The Architects Are Here

“Readers of Catherine Hogan Safer’s wonderful novel, Bishop’s Road, will not be surprised to find themselves loving her new book of stories, but they may not be expecting the variety of voices in it, the unpredictable shifts of plot, the wide range of quirky characters—many of them damaged or troubled or put-upon—and the fascinating turns taken by their lives. Wild Pieces swings all the way from hilarious to heart-wrenching. These crisply written, enigmatic stories never say one iota more than needs to be said. They give voice to the so-called ordinary folks who seldom find ways to speak for themselves, and they keep on percolating in a reader—at least they do in me—well after they end. Literary magic like Catherine Hogan Safer’s is rare enough in the world, and to be treasured.”

— Stan Dragland, author, The Drowned Lands and Stormy Weather: Foursomes and founder, Brick Books, and Professor Emeritus, English Department, University of Western Ontario (Retired)

“Catherine Hogan Safer’s stories are full of bold-faced, bald-eyed observation about oddballs and their antics. There is tenderness, poignancy, and 100-watt farce. Safer exposes all the human foibles with hilarity, and lashings of quirky wisdom.”

— Lisa Moore, author, February  and Caught

Reviews:

“Hogan Safer is a rare treat to read because of the vivacity of her characters and the punch and hook of her humour and humanity. Her characters are crackling with life and do unexpected things.” Chad Pelley, The Overcast, St. John’s, Newfoundland, (Page 27).

“…While reading you can expect to laugh out loud, cry and gasp. If you want a taste of the human experience, a peek into what your neighbours are up to in tiny, heartbreaking snapshots, this book is for you. Sometimes the endings are happy but mostly they just feel real. And we all know real can tear you to pieces.” Laurie Burns, Atlantic Books Today, Winter 2015

“Catherine Hogan Safer is not a frequent publisher of books, and that’s a shame. But it does mean that every volume of her precisely woven observations is one to cherish and linger over, if you can resist the urge to gobble every word down at one sitting.

Which you probably won’t be able to do, because Hogan Safer’s writing is so compelling that the natural reading breaks–in this case, the ends of stories–just leave you wanting more of her characters and their dead-on insights into their lives. Your life too, probably–or at least the life of someone you know…” Jean Graham, The Northeast Avalon Times, October 2015

“Many of Mrs. Hogan Safer’s characters are placed in untenable positions by others, yet they manage to eventually overcome and leave us feeling that there is, after all, and above all, hope.” The Miramichi Reader, Miramichi, New Brunswick, April 21, 2016.

Excerpt:

“Jane”—a story from Wild Pieces, published online by Atlantic Books Today,  September 19, 2015

Catherine signing a copy of Wild Pieces at Chapters in St. John’s

Catherine signing a copy of Wild Pieces at Chapters in St. John’s

Wild Pieces is available at Chapters and Coles stores in Atlantic Canada, on Amazon, and through Creative Publishing: CreativeBookPublishing.com.