Pallbearing

Pallbearing

Stories

Written by: Melgaard, Michael

To obtain this ebook, visit one of the ebook retailers linked below

An honest and unaffected collection of human experiences that deftly tackles themes of grief, loss, missed opportunities, and the pain of letting go.

The stories in Michael Melgaard’s poignant debut collection, Pallbearing, offer candid snapshots of life in a small town, where the struggle to make ends meet forces people into desperate choices. In “Little to Lose,” a son confronts his mother over the crushing prison of debt created by her gambling addiction. The aging divorcee in “Coming and Going” spends her days in paranoid pursuit of evidence with which to incriminate her neighbours in the derelict trailer park where she lives. And in “Stewart and Rose,” lifelong friends find love after their respective partners die — and then face loss all over again.

With deceptively spare prose that carries outsized emotional weight and pathos, Melgaard brings his characters to life in sharp-edged portraits and all-too-human dilemmas, creating engaging stories that resonate with honesty and depth, and linger in the imagination.

An honest and unaffected collection of human experiences that deftly tackles themes of grief, loss, missed opportunities, and the pain of letting go.

The stories in Michael Melgaard’s poignant debut collection, Pallbearing, offer candid snapshots of life in a small town, where the struggle to make ends meet forces people into desperate choices. In “Little to Lose,” a son confronts his mother over the crushing prison of debt created by her gambling addiction. The aging divorcee in “Coming and Going” spends her days in paranoid pursuit of evidence with which to incriminate her neighbours in the derelict trailer park where she lives. And in “Stewart and Rose,” lifelong friends find love after their respective partners die — and then face loss all over again.

With deceptively spare prose that carries outsized emotional weight and pathos, Melgaard brings his characters to life in sharp-edged portraits and all-too-human dilemmas, creating engaging stories that resonate with honesty and depth, and linger in the imagination.

Published By House of Anansi Press Inc — Feb 4, 2020
Specifications 280 pages | 5.25 in x 8 in
Supporting Resources
(select item to download)
Excerpt
Written By

MICHAEL MELGAARD is a writer and editor based in Toronto. His fiction has appeared in Joyland, the Puritan, and Bad Nudes, among other publications. He is a former regular contributor to the National Post’s book section and has written articles and criticism for the Millions, Torontoist, and Canadian Notes & Queries. Pallbearing is his first book.

Written By

MICHAEL MELGAARD is a writer and editor based in Toronto. His fiction has appeared in Joyland, the Puritan, and Bad Nudes, among other publications. He is a former regular contributor to the National Post’s book section and has written articles and criticism for the Millions, Torontoist, and Canadian Notes & Queries. Pallbearing is his first book.

“Melgaard’s quiet genius, like so many Canadian short-story writers before him, is in finding remarkable drama in the mundanities that make up an unremarkable life.” —Quill and Quire

“A rich and compelling collection, Pallbearing is a powerfully restrained debut showcasing the craftsmanship and deep emotional intelligence of its author.” —Open Book


“Michael Melgaard’s stories are deceptively still on their surfaces, but just below run cross-currents of the darkest human emotions: fear, rage, and love. Melgaard’s debut collection features characters in desperate situations, attempting to wrangle a drop of sense out of things while accepting or standing up to their fates. The stories in Pallbearing are crisp, ruefully funny, and unsentimental, each one a portrait on a grain of rice. A wonderful debut.” —Michael Redhill, Scotiabank Giller Prize–winning author of Bellevue Square

“These powerful, empathetic stories are about the burdens people carry and the debts they owe — at work and at home, to their friends and family, and sometimes, heaviest of all, to themselves. With remarkable compression and insight, Michael Melgaard cuts straight to the heart of people’s lives — in just a few pages I came to know these characters so well they felt like my own neighbours, and I’ll remember them for a long time. This is a striking debut by a writer to watch.” —Alix Ohlin, Scotiabank Giller Prize–shortlisted author of Dual Citizens

“With DNA traces of Raymond Carver and Kent Haruf, Michael Melgaard’s Pallbearing conjures up a wallop of small-town pathos and dead-end desperation that will leave you shattered. These stories may be deceptively spare in their construction, but they are rich and abundant in their impact.” —Michael Christie, Scotiabank Giller Prize–longlisted author of Greenwood