Linked short stories about families, nascent queers, and self-deluded utopians explore the moral ordinary strangeness in their characters’ overlapping lives.
A woman impersonates a nun online, with unexpected consequences. In a rapidly changing neighborhood, tensions escalate around two events planned for the same day. The barista girlfriend of a tech billionaire survives a zombie apocalypse only to face spending her life with the paranoid super-rich. The linked stories in Householders move effortlessly from the commonplace to the fantastic, from west-end Toronto to a trailer in the middle of nowhere, from a university campus to a state-of-the-art underground bunker; from a commune in the woods to a city and back again. Exploring the ordinary strangeness in the lives of recurring characters and overlapping dramas, Householders combines the intimacy, precision, and clarity of short fiction with the depth and reach of a novel and mines the moral hazards inherent in all the ways we try and fail to save one another and ourselves.
Praise for Householders
“Reading each story in Kate Cayley’s Householders is like entering a household, one that is unique in its treasured secrets and hidden corners of glory and shame. The inhabitants—a trio of aging hippies, a blogger masquerading as a nun, a group of traumatized escapees from a fanatical commune, a washed-up but still brilliant musician—are all seekers after whatever good life, or good death, they can find. Having met them, the reader is left with a lingering sense of responsibility, as for worrisome old friends who are loved in spite of themselves.”—KD Miller, Scotiabank Giller Prize-nominated author of Late Breaking
“Taut and brimming with clarity.”—Souvankham Thammavongsa, Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author of How to Pronounce Knife
“Cayley’s world is a dangerous place, all the structures built with discarded slivering wood and rusted nails, but one where strange sacredness arrives in the middle of the ordinary day. The mysterious reasons that push her misplaced, displaced people are as convincing as memories, painful but necessary to relive. Read these stories, you’ll be glad you did.”—Marina Endicott, author of The Difference