The characters in Bad Things Happen—professors, janitors, webcam models, small-time criminals—are between things. Between jobs and marriages, states of sobriety, joy and anguish; between who they are and who they want to be. Kris Bertin’s unforgettable debut introduces us to people at the tenuous moment before everything in their lives change, for better or worse.
A disturbing and stellar debut, brought to the press and edited by Alexander MacLeod.
PRAISE FOR BAD THINGS HAPPEN
“The stories in this debut collection … are smart and nuanced, pulsing with humanity … [Bertin is] a writer to watch who effectively captures lives lived achingly beyond the glamorous.”—Library Journal
“[An] excellent debut … this is a forceful, well-written collection with breadth of imagination—at times melancholy but never depressing.”—Publishers Weekly
“[Bad Things Happen] is strongly written and often stylistically daring, but all rooted in a fundamental understanding, a generosity of spirit that, while hard-edged, bespeaks a deep humanism and empathy … A powerful, compelling collection.”—Robert Wiersema, Toronto Star
“Brash (in the best possible sense), intriguing, and consummate without being showy, these are terrific stories in a strong, diverse, and fascinating collection.”—Quill & Quire
“Bertin’s characters are misfits and malcontents, battling various demons and additions while trying to stay sane enough or straight enough to make it through one day.”—The Globe and Mail
“On the surface, these stories of labourers (drivers, garbage collectors, a janitor, a thief, con artists, drug dealers and an exterminator, among others) look at how people behave when things fall apart … Drilling one more layer, Bad Things Happen is about how we learn to relate to the world and each other over time, with characters of all ages and phases as illustration. It’s about love.”—Atlantic Books Today
“The 10 stories by this Halifax bartender make captivating reading. It’s hard to turn away from bad things when an author’s prose seduces you … These are gritty stories, but very good ones, tough, truthful and unsettling.” —Minneapolis StarTribune
PRAISE FOR KRIS BERTIN
“Kris Bertin is one of Canada’s rising literary stars … he’s a provocative, award-winning writer of some of the best short fiction currently being written across the country.”—Trevor Corkum, Currently Living