Our audio series "The Authors Read. We Listen." is an incredibly special one for us. Hatched in a NYC club during BEA week, this feature requires more work of the author than any of the ones that have come before. And that makes it all the more sweeter when you see, or rather, hear them read excerpts from their own novels, in their own voices, the way their stories were meant to be heard.
Today, Jessica Westhead reads from her 2011 short story collection And Also Sharks, which was a a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book and a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Short Fiction Prize. Jessica lives in Toronto, Canada. Her short fiction has appeared in major literary journals in Canada and the US, and her novel Pulpy & Midge was published by Coach House Books in 2007. She was shortlisted for the 2009 CBC Literary Awards and selected for the 2011 Journey Prize anthology.
Click the soundcloud file below to experience And Also Sharks as read by Jessica Westhead:
The word on And Also Sharks:
The forlornly funny stories in And Also Sharks celebrate the socially awkward, the insecure, the unfulfilled, and the obsessed. A disgruntled follower of a self-esteem blog posts a rambling critical comment. On the hunt for the perfect coffee table, a pregnant woman and her husband stop to visit his terminally ill ex-wife. The office cat lady reluctantly joins her fellow employees' crusade to cheer up their dying co-worker. A man grieving his wife's miscarriages follows his deluded friend on a stealth photo-taking mission at the Auto Show. A shoplifter creates her own narrative with stolen anecdotes and a kidnapped baby. In this collection, society's misfits and losers are portrayed sympathetically, and sometimes even heroically. As desperately as these characters long to fit in, they also take pride in what sets them apart.
*lifted with love from goodreads