At Dream Inc., a lifestyle magazine publisher, people are struggling not only to do their jobs—or even to keep them—but to fall in love and stay that way, to have friends, to be good parents and good children, to eat lunch and answer the phone and be happy. Which can be pretty interesting . . . even on company time.
In The Big Dream, acclaimed short story writer Rebecca Rosenblum offers a suite of linked stories exploring the working world in all its dark and humorous complexity, creating an In Our Time for our time.
Rebecca Rosenblum’s debut collection Once drew comparison to Alice Munro’s Dance of the Happy Shades” (Quill & Quire). She works in publishing in Toronto, Ontario.
“Rosenblum writes with exquisite attention to detail, not to mention an astute sense of comedic timing: her uniquely troubled and wholly convincing characters should appeal to readers of commercial and serious fiction alike.”—Canadian Literature
“The prose in these 13 stories contains rueful truths…swift portraits…and depths of feeling”—Quarterly Conversation
“[These stories] contain images … so evocative that they vibrate. Rosenblum is an elegant stylist and spiky humorist; her language is precise, her ear for dialogue almost faultless.”—The Globe & Mail
“For readers who want fiction to engage with the world we live in, Rosenblum’s work matters.”—Prairie Fire
“In her spry, satirical new collection, Rosenblum (Once) presents 13 dialogue-rich and highly readable vignettes featuring a colorful cast of characters who work for Dream Inc., a foundering Canada-based lifestyle-magazine publisher. There’s the Vice President of Human Resources, forced to lay off customer-service reps while her mother lays dying in a local hospital; the college student on the verge of a nervous breakdown who works in the cafeteria; the corporate-branding specialist experimenting with lesbianism; and the retired exec who can’t quite let go of the dream. None of her main characters are editors; they come from other areas of the publishing industry, and they struggle with such mundane decisions as where to eat lunch and what to do after work. Rosenblum makes these challenges read like monumental events in her characters’ lives (which they no doubt are), and deserves admiration for her well-chosen details and nuanced protagonists.—PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY
“Each short story is rich with memorable dialogue, capturing the empty banter, complaints, and flirtations that often fill the halls of an office. Rosenblum’s natural dialogue and descriptive prose result in a collection that successfully depicts the complex balancing act between home and work that so often define the lives of office workers who struggle to stay afloat inside and outside of their cubicles.”—This
“Rosenblum is an entertaining master of minutia, she has a prodigious ability to take ordinary details and restyle or adorn them in just the slightest way, transforming the mundane into the eccentric. The stories in The Big Dream come alive with orange-juice stained pillows, Zellers jeans, and jam sandwiches … The Big Dream thoroughly succeeds … Rebecca Rosenblum is a gifted chronicler of our time.”—The Rover
“Rosenblum’s characters are funny and human … they are distinct and engaging. It’s lovely, moving writing.”—Quill & Quire