Widow Fantasies - Preorder

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Fantasies are places we briefly visit; we can’t live there. The stories in Widow Fantasies deftly explore the subjugation of women through the often subversive act of fantasizing. From a variety of perspectives, through a symphony of voices, Widow Fantasies immerses the reader in the domestic rural gothic, offering up unforgettable stories from the shadowed lives of girls and women.

“If Rumi and Alice Munro sat down to a meal, it just might be served by Hollay Ghadery.  Her piquant glimpses into the vibrant interior lives of characters (from wives to grandfathers to girls and husbands) yield a jewel-tone richness.  Ontario barns, Iranian food, steamy bathrooms, children, sex, loneliness and too-much togetherness, all syncopate into Ghadery’s absorbing worlds.  The sassy-voiced stories in Widow Fantasies seem to melt in your mouth like fruit gelees—yet the taste of their observation lasts. I savoured them all.” — Molly Peacock, author of The Widow’s Crayon Box

"Widow Fantasies is an astounding collection of short stories from poet, Hollay Ghadery. With unflinching fierce and tender honesty, Ghadery captures private, intimate moments in the lives of her characters. The wit, range and cheeky defiance in these stories will leave you breathless. Her writing does that rare thing we want art to do for us: sparkle, astound and pack a punch. This is a collection to sit with and savour." — Salma Hussain, author of The Secret Diary of Mona Hasan

Widow Fantasies offers an astonishing visceral experience: a sucker-punch and a kick to the gut. It is a mesmerizing glimpse into the stories we can’t bear to share. What Ghadery does so beautifully in this tightly woven collection is illustrate the ways we make sense of our shame and the complicity of the decisions we make to try and avoid it. A stunning collection by a talented writer .” — Minelle Mahtani, author of May It Have a Happy Ending

"In these tight, sharp-witted, and expertly crafted stories, Hollay Ghadery distills the scope of an entire relationship or, in some cases, an entire lifetime into a single scene. Vignette doesn’t quite capture the breadth of these extraordinary flash worlds inflected with wry humour, incisive observation, and heartbreak.While a comedic title, line, or situation is often the hook—whether it’s a woman repelled by the smell of her oblivious husband’s bathroom ritual or a drunk divorcee talking to patio furniture— Ghadery’s characters are multi-faceted. Where there is despair there is also love; where there is anger, there is also insight; and where there is grief, there is also friendship, which gives these stories their depth and heart. Readers of George Saunders or Joy Williams will enjoy Widow Fantasies, a spectacular and unforgettable collection."  — Kathryn Mockler, author of Anecdotes 

"At turns shocking, funny, and heartbreaking, the stories in Hollay Ghadery’s, Widow Fantasies serve up densely packed miniatures embracing the gothic dysfunctions of the nuclear family. Ghadery’s stories take an unflinching look at family life and explode the myths of a bucolic domestica. These sure-footed stories make for compelling reading." — Nancy Jo Cullen, author of The Western Alienation Merit Badge and winner of the 2010 Dayne Ogilvie Prize

“Sparking sudden moments of self-recognition, Hollay Ghadery’s Widow Fantasies is an elegiac collection that lays bare, in flashes of longing and desire, the personal and particular.  Ghadery’s distinctive blend of wry humour, wit and sensuality sear the pages, filling them with evocative imagery, lyricism and tenderness. Widow Fantasies will take your breath away with its honesty and elegance.” — Lucy E.M. Black, author of The Brickworks 

Widow Fantasies is a delicious look behind the curtain of female propriety. These succinct, sometimes-connected vignettes of women living and loving in modern times ring with a quiet truth that resonates to our feminine core. Ghadery is expert with language, and weaves action and description with such finesse, we are transported to rooms and private spaces where women share their fears and deep desires for themselves, their futures, and their relationships. The frustration of women in unfulfilling relationships, the burden of beauty standards, and the commodification of the female form drive the narratives forward. This is the manifesto of our shared female rage, and the subtle ways we exist powerfully and purposely despite the burdens of gender. It is the softly voiced battle cry of our times.” — Gina Leola Woolsey, author of Fifteen Thousand Pieces