Inspired by the work of Alex Colville, the linked stories in K.D. Miller’s Late Breaking form a suite of portraits that evoke the paintings’ looming atmospheres and uncanny stillness while traveling deeply into their subjects’ vividly imagined lives. Throughout, the collection bears witness to the vulnerability of the elder heart, revealing that love, sex, and heartbreak are not only the domain of the young, and deftly rendering the conflicts that divide us and the ties that bind.
Husbands and wives struggle to communicate, romantic relationships flare and falter, parents and children navigate their complicated feelings, and older women struggle with diminishing status in a youth-obsessed culture while the threat of violence haunts young women and girls. Yet as the stories intersect and the characters’ lives are increasingly entwined, fear, guilt, estrangement, and the fact of death are met by courage, redemption and the fragile beauty of love, in all its myriad guises.
Brilliantly observed, both tender and tortured, and in no way afraid of the dark, these stories confirm K.D. Miller as one of our best and bravest writers.
Praise for Late Breaking
“A deft, nuanced, and human collection of stories. K.D. Miller’s gaze catches both humour and darkness in a wide variety of relationships. A thoroughly captivating book.”—Rebecca Rosenblum
“An undercurrent of the surreal pulses through 10 linked stories…sensitive portrayals of the fragility of love and ubiquity of need.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Miller’s attentiveness . . . is touching . . . The stories themselves are rich with coherence, meaning, and suggestion, and part of what makes them so satisfying is the space they leave free for us to engage with them and find our own interpretation.” —Quill & Quire
“Compulsively readable. Like an Alex Colville painting . . . the longer you look, you realize there’s something darker going on underneath the surface. My favourite book so far this fall.” —CBC Ontario Morning
“These are all rich and absorbing stories on their own, but even richer for how they also inform each other . . . K.D. Miller’s fiction seems to conjure whole worlds, with characters who seem to walk off the page . . . We get glimpses of these people, but they’re like the tip of an iceberg and there’s so much more going on beneath the surface. Which is something you could say about the people in Colville’s paintings too, and about each of these stories themselves, compelling and disturbing, and impossible to look away from, creating the most terrific momentum.” —Kerry Clare
Praise for K.D. Miller
“One of Canada’s finest writers, able to probe deeper into the human heart than the best surgeon.”—National Post
“A quietly astonishing book of short stories . . . [Miller’s] genius, like that of Alice Munro, is wringing suspense—and poignancy—from the quotidian. [All Saints’] structure is as complex and delicate as origami. Plots and characters link in haunting and astounding ways. As a collection, the stories reflect the power and purpose of all communities, ecclesiastical or otherwise: read like a novel, they offer multi-faceted perspective and illumination. The result is a Canadian classic.”—Maclean’s
“[Miller] will no doubt inspire and affirm other artists—not to mention ordinary folks—who wrestle (in secret) with angels.”—Toronto Star
“It is a testament to Miller’s genius that she makes us care so much about her characters and their fates.” —Quill and Quire