Read Press

Reviews

‘one of 2011′s most striking short-story collections.’ ~This Magazine

‘gutsy, elegant, dark and funny.’ ~Jaime Forsythe’s Top 11 Books of 2011, The Coast

‘Black is perfect for any personality accused of over-thinking things. If you’re not one of those people, suspend your certainty and enter Black’s absurd and abstract imagination to see what it’s like.’ ~Telegraph Journal

‘If you like fiction to make extreme forays, this book is for you.’ ~Room

‘pushing the boundaries of Canadian short fiction’ ~Prairie Fire Review of Books

‘some seriously dark wit’ ~Broken Pencil

‘These stories are dark. Some of them are shot through with the surreal, and all of them operate in a space of intensely self-aware psychic intimacy … The Odious Child is an alluring portrait of the magic of the mind to twist and tense under the conditioning of a fractured city. Black’s work here evinces the kind of spirited control that gets my gears turning, and her ability to zero in on details, the myriad tiny fragments of thought and life, ensure that in me she has enchanted a perpetually devoted reader.’ ~Emily Keeler, Bookside Table

‘She writes like no one else I’ve ever read, like a writer who’s standing on the shoulders of nobody, her stories’ own foundations are so very solid. There is a fantastical element to the stories, but nothing whimsical. You might call some of the stories’ structures “experimental,” but it’s not the right word because it suggests the author didn’t know her outcomes beforehand and Carolyn Black’s “experiments” are so incredibly, impeccably controlled.’ ~Kerry Clare, Pickle Me This

‘Being funny is so hard to do well, as it relies so much on surprising the reader … and “Serial Love” had some killer lines that totally cracked me up … I laughed out loud.’ ~Pasha Malla, on the story ‘Serial Love’ in the Introduction to The Journey Prize Stories 22

‘More than any other collection I’ve read this year so far, this one has been the most challenging, the most thought-provoking … these stories are not your average CanLit fare. The interesting thing about this is that a major theme is order, concreteness, reflected in such precise language that I found myself treating the very book itself carefully, keeping it pristine, turning the pages deliberately, smoothing their surfaces, leaving it altogether unmarked and clean…. The stories are also exercises in invention, Carolyn Black is playing games here … with reality and fantasy, with language, with us … the writing is superb.’ ~Steph VanderMeulen, Bella’s Bookshelves

‘Carolyn Black writes about her characters and their circumstances with subtle humour and insight. Her skilful observations of how people deal (or don’t deal) with the uncertainty and impermanence of life are by turns amusing and touching.’ ~Herizons

‘a rewriting of the human female form…’ ~Open Book Toronto

‘The eleven stories in The Odious Child sketch a darkly comic cityscape of characters so strange, staccato and lackadaisical that they frequently trip across the line of reality and into the surreal …  [Black's] use of metaphor is something akin to caressing an open palm and slicing a lifeline into it with broken glass … one of the most open and naked collections of short fiction I’ve read in some time.’ ~Andrew Wilmot, Backlisted

Interviews

Author Interview with Kerry Clare, Pickle Me This

One Question Interview with Alex Boyd, Boydwords

On Writing: The Short Story Edition with Grace O’Connell, Open Book Toronto

Journey Prize Questionnaire in The Afterword with Mark Medley, National Post