The Old World and Other Stories
Written by Cary Fagan
Publication Date March 18, 2017
These thirty-five brief stories — and the found photographs that inspired them — are by turns realistic and surreal, bloody and tender, delightful and appalling. Award-winning author Cary Fagan has created a mesmerizing series of narrative tales, giving readers a vivid peek into lives of strangers.
A man hangs onto a runaway horse. A woman paints in the nude. A shop window advertising a sale on blankets hides much more behind it. A lone tombstone on a hill speaks of a years-long feud. The stories — capturing portraits, objects, moments in time — while dizzyingly varied, form a single image that, in the words of the author, "belong to one history, found in an album that might belong to any of us."
Deftly marrying vision and language with memory and imagination, Fagan paints an intimate portrait of forgotten lives that is profound, generous, and highly entertaining.
CARY FAGAN has written several critically acclaimed books, including A Bird’s Eye, finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize; My Life Among the Apes, longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize; Valentine’s Fall, finalist for the Toronto Book Award. He has also written many popular books for children, for which he has won the Vicki Metcalf Award For Children’s Literature and the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. He lives in Toronto.
"I absolutely loved this collection of very short stories inspired by a series of wonderful found photographs. Cary Fagan has a real ear for dialogue and a way of making each perfectly formed vignette surprising, whether that’s taking a surreal turn in ‘We Have to Be Careful,’ introducing the macabre in ‘Who I’ve Come For,’ or quietly breaking my heart, in ‘Where We Are Now.’" Claire Fuller, author of Swimming Lessons
"What a dazzlingly imaginative thing to do — Cary Fagan has taken a group of orphaned photographs from the past and turned them into a cabinet of wonders! Inventive, satisfying, and deft, The Old World gets right to the heart of the storytelling craft." Marni Jackson, author of Don’t I Know You?
"Charming, funny, and sad" The National Post
"This is Fagan at the top of his game." The Canadian Jewish News
"Clever and funny" Quill and Quire
"Inspired by a trove of found photographs, this new collection of short fiction by the Toronto author embarks on flights of fancy both marvellous and macabre" Readers Digest Canada