Barbara Black's genre-bending debut short story collection Music from a Strange Planet (Caitlin $22.95) is concerned with issues of identity and emotional attachment and its characters are often at their most vulnerable. An awkward child envisions herself as a beetle; an unemployed business analyst prefers water-walking over "rebranding" himself; and a biogenetically-altered couple in a squatters' district visit an attic to observe a large cocoon. Ranging from subversive to comic, and humane to outlandish, Black's fiction contemplates a strange world.

In addition to fiction Black writes flash fiction and poetry. Her work has been published in Canadian and international magazines including The Cincinnati Review, The New Quarterly, CV2, Geist and Prairie Fire. She was a finalist in the 2020 National Magazine Awards, nominated for the 2019 Writers' Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize and won the 2019 Geist Annual Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest. She lives in Victoria.

PHOTO by Erin Clayton

BOOKS:

Music from a Strange Planet: Stories (Caitlin, 2021) $22.95 9781773860589

[BCBW 2021]