Having moved to Vancouver after graduating from a writing program at Princeton University, Nathan Sellyn published a debut collection of fanciful short stories, Indigenous Beasts (Raincoast 2006), endorsed by his thesis supervisor Joyce Carol Oates. The stories variously concern young men clumsily looking for love from parents, spouses and strangers. According to Sellyn, "The book is unique in that it is distinctly Canadian, yet appeals to an international audience. Its primary audience is the young professional, who will hopefully come for the subject matter and stay for the message." The collection won the Danuta Gleed Award to recognize the best first English-language collection of short fiction by a Canadian author published in 2006. "The dark, compelling stories in Nathan Sellyn's Indigenous Beasts explore violence, masculinity, abandonment and abandon. A slowly torqued sense of peril fuels his finely crafted, exquisitely controlled prose," commented
the judges Jack Hodgins, Lisa Moore and Robyn Sarah. "The dialogue is urgent, the brutality tempered by understatement, and the stories move towards closing sentences that often resonate with a subtle metaphoric subtext. In Indigenous Beasts, Nathan Sellyn presents us with convincing characters, an admirably diverse collection of voices, a strong sense of place, and a close, ultimately compassionate examination of those on the fringes of society." Nathan Sellyn previously lived in Toronto, Montreal, New York and Thailand.

[BCBW 2007] "Fiction"