Where Did You Sleep Last Night asks the question, “Does true love have supernatural power?,” by telling the story of a teenage girl in a relationship with Nirvana frontman, Kurt Cobain.
If that piques your interest, this should heighten it: Lynn Crosbie is one of the country’s sharpest, most brutally honest and unapologetic probers of the human condition. Best known to a new generation of writers for her controversial roman-a-clef, Life Is About Losing Everything, she’s an award-winning author of rare verve.
In her latest book, Evelyn Gray is a bullied, sad, and lonely teenager, who spends her time “writing letters to dead people, listening to old records, and talking to the poster of Kurt Cobain above her bed. Her mother is an alcoholic grunge relic from Seattle, whose recollections, books, and music help ignite Evelyn’s love for Cobain—a love so painfully strong that it summons the deceased singer to her side. When Evelyn is taken to the hospital after an overdose, she awakens to find Cobain—who has little to no memory of his former life—convalescing in the bed beside her. Once united, they quickly become addicted to drugs and each other.” That is of course until like, in any good novel, sex and death send our protagonist into sudden, dark turns.
“It’s almost terrifying how deep this book goes, and how quickly it gets there. I’ve sometimes wondered if I’ve lost my ability to feel the world in a certain way, and this book reminded me that I haven’t.” -Douglas Coupland
Lauded as one of Canada’s newest short story scribes to watch, she’s earned the interest. Robertson attended the creative writing programs at both the University of Victoria and the University of East Anglia, where she received the 2011 Man Booker Scholarship.
Her stories have twice been shortlisted for the prestigious Journey Prize, as well as CBC’s national Short Story Prize, and in 2013, her story “We Walked On Water” won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. From her publisher’s website, “From windswept Pacific beaches to the inner reaches of the human heart, Robertson has created a cast of unique and wholly engaging characters. Here there are swindlers and innocents, unlikely heroes and gritty survivors; they teach us how to trap hummingbirds, relinquish dreams gracefully, and feed raccoons without getting bitten. Robertson smashes stereotypes even as she shows us remarkable new ways of experiencing the world—and of relating to our fellow human beings. Quirky and masterful, Wallflowers is a bouquet of unconventional delights from a powerful new voice.” For her arresting story, “My Sister Sang” alone, the collection is worth the cash. Buy it and see what all the buzz was about.
“Sentence by sentence, rhythm for rhythm, Robertson’s prose can stand alongside any writer I think to name. But her style and her stories are uniquely her own, at once observant and playful, sometimes wise, sometimes ironic, always lyrical and always haunting. These aren’t just windows into characters’ lives: they’re windows into human experience.” – DW Wilson