Oh, My Darling is available in trade paperback from Harper Perennial, for $16.95. For sale at bookstores, or you can link from this website to Amazon or Indigo.
Oh, My Darling won CBC’s Bookie Award for best short story collection in 2013. The link to the CBC site is here.
A “Best Book of the Year”
Oh, My Darling was chosen as a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year. “Lambert’s beautiful stories, which launched publisher Patrick Crean’s new imprint at HarperCollins, are lives in miniature, each one bringing us familiar settings and situations, yet finding surprising and unexpected turns within.” I’m really pleased that this is my 3rd book in a row to be selected as a Globe best book.
…and the National Post has chosen Oh, My Darling as a ‘best of 2013’ pick. Oh, My Darling was also an ‘author’s pick’ best book of the year, in Quill and Quire — chosen by Caroline Adderson.
“There are some authors who hold the key to my heart. A few of their well-chosen words can make me weep, quite suddenly, or stop me cold with an insight. I put the book down and think: “Oh yes, that’s exactly what it’s like. I,too, have felt that way.” In doing so such authors take the hard business of being human and make it a little less lonely. Authors who do that for me include Adam Gopnik, Ian McEwan and Carol Shields. And now, Shaena Lambert….Good writing, good storytelling, can tear a little rent in your heart when you least expect it. Lambert’s characters are wistful, tragic, caught like the rest of us in the quotidian drama, wishing it was otherwise.” — Liane Faulder, The Edmonton Journal (staff pick for favorite book of the year).
“When reading a collection, it’s natural to prefer one story over another, to linger over one more than another. From the first page, though, this writer makes it almost impossible to choose…If forced to choose one story to characterize Lambert’s talent…it would be Little Bird…The story is so beautiful and finely tuned that too close a description may ruin the unforgettable experience of it…the story is remarkable in its ability to tell the whole in such a short space, in its delicate language but stark reality, and in its portrayal of how life can almost always be traced back into a full circle.” — Carla Lucchetta, The Globe and Mail.
“What is most on display in all of the stories…is the succinct, explicit power of observation of the writer. There isn’t a discordant note anywhere.” — Steven Brown, The Vancouver Sun.
“Given the terrain and theme of her fiction, it’s inevitable that Lambert’s stories have been compared to Alice Munro’s, but Lambert’s voice is her own — strong and invigorating — and her work never feels derivative or eclipsed by this comparison. Oh, My Darling delves unflinchingly into both the beauty and ugliness of humanity, and the ways we relate to one another. The author displays a skilful control of pace, creating just the right amount of tension… Lambert pulls the reader in with deft and seamless prose, complex characters, insight into our often contradictory emotions, and the originality of her voice — a combination that results in an absorbing and vivid book. — Jennifer Lovegrove, Quill and Quire.
“Lambert’s exquisite prose and masterful story structure leaven the heavy content. Simply put: this volume’s good (superb, actually) and good for you.” — Gail Perry, The Winnipeg Free Press.
Steven W Beattie, writing in The National Post, writes of Oh, My Darling: “…touchingly human tales about big subjects, told with beauty and dexterity.” The review looks at my story collection and Douglas Glover’s Savage Love. “Together these two collections stand as examples of the short form and reminders of why fiction writers continue to explore it.” I particularly appreciated this reviewer’s take on my opening story — and it’s referencing of Lolita, which was certainly on my mind when I took the leap into that narrative voice. Beattie quotes Humbert Humbert: You can “always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.” For the full review, click here.
Pickle Me This…
Kerry Clare, who runs the renowned book review blog Pickle Me This, has posted a review of Oh, My Darling — click here for it. I appreciate her description of the overarching themes in the book –“how we fit into the world, into our lives, mother-daughter relationships which are freighted and fraught, the awkward symmetry of marriage, the stunning pain of loss.” The review also zeroes in on the physicality of the book. “Bodies are bound and unbound, bodies are revealed, mottled middle-aged bodies with wrinkles and scars and unfeeling abdomens whose nerve endings were never repaired after cesarian sections so long ago. Fragile, flawed and precious. Oh, My Darling.”
Here is an interview I did with George Fetherling about Oh, My Darling — and writing and life in general.
For the interview in the Straight, click here.
George Fetherling — iconic author of 60 books, including Travels by Night: A Memoir of the Sixties — in a black hat.
Reviews from three wonderful writers — Rick Bass, Barbara Gowdy and Lisa Moore. I am so grateful to them for reading the book, and for their enthusiastic responses. These lovely reviews, on the cover of the book, helped launch it:
“Oh, My Darling is thunderstorm powerful, otherworldly, wickedly great; it lies beyond the range of merely astonishing. Shaena Lambert travels so deeply into the raw and beautiful reservoirs of humanity that it seems a marvel she ever made it back out. That she did is our most excellent fortune. Read this book. Read this book.”
-Rick Bass, author of In the Loyal Mountains and Nashville Chrome
“Shaena Lambert’s stories are jubilant, ironic, bone-marrow intimate and hyper-vivid. Her characters are drawn with signature accuracy and exuberance; they are bold and unfaithful, zealous and brave, fearful and true. Oh, My Darling is fist-pump marvellous. Lambert will take your heart captive.”
-Lisa Moore, author of February, and Alligator
“Exceptional stories. A joy to read. Lambert’s language and characters shine on every page.”
-Barbara Gowdy, author of Helpless and The White Bone