“We knew that Cape Breton writers were winning awards and making the short lists, but I think the mix of genre within the fiction in this book is quite remarkable–from crime to fantasy, and even some without any obvious label,” says Breton Books publisher, Ron Caplan, about his latest short story anthology, The Men’s Breakfast.
To complement the book’s title, it will be launched at a special reading brunch on Saturday, November 19, 11am to 1pm, at Flavor 19, the restaurant located in the Lingan Golf Club on Grand Lake Road across the road from Cape Breton University.
“I think (the anthology) shows a maturity among Cape Breton writers,” Caplan explains about the subject matter of his authors. “I think I say in the introduction that the stories were more worldly than one might have expected. And when a story is clearly Cape Breton — take Paul MacDougall’s cockfighting story, for example — it’s a rare subject, and in this case not typical at all.”
The Men’s Breakfast features 19 short stories from a variety of island writers such as Frank Macdonald, Bill Conall, Dave Doucette, D. C. Troicuk, Tim Vassallo, Russell Colman, Victor Sakalauskas, Joyce Rankin, and Phonse Jessome, among others. There are also stand alone excerpts from novels-in-progress by Maureen Hull, Brian Tucker, and Stewart Donovan.
Among the subjects the stories look at are the challenges to which a woman will rise to protect her children, a hard-bitten father’s affection for his wayward son, a teenage youth caring for a disabled woman, a pack of kooky apartment-dwellers on a road trip to a funeral.
“I started by inviting people who came to mind, especially thinking of those who had not been published in books–and the outcome reflects that.” Caplan says about selecting the stories, “Many are first time authors. But credit for the mix has to include Douglas Arthur Brown (author of Quintet and former editor of The Pottersfield Portfolio). He has quite a few devoted students and he sent me several recommendations, many of those writers new to me.”
Contributors to the anthology will read short selections from their stories at the brunch. No reservation is required, and there is no charge to attend. There will be free coffee, tea and cookies and Flavor 19 will provide a choice of brunch dishes for purchase.
The Men’s Breakfast is available now in a quality paperback through bookstores across Cape Breton or online at capebretonbooks.com.