Finalist for the Manitoba Book Awards’ Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction and the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book
The highly anticipated debut short story collection by Journey Prize finalist Seyward Goodhand
Even That Wildest Hope bursts with vibrant, otherworldly characters—wax girls and gods-among-men, artists on opposite sides of a war, aimless plutocrats and anarchist urchins—who are sometimes wondrous, often grotesque, and always driven by passions and yearnings common to us all. Each story is an untamed territory unto itself: where characters are both victims and predators, the settings are antique and futuristic, and where our intimacies—with friends, lovers, enemies, and even our food—reveal a deeply human desire for beauty and abjection. Stylistic and primordial, Even That Wildest Hope is a chaotic and always satisfying fabulist journey in the baroque tradition of Angela Carter, Carmen Maria Machado, and Ted Chiang.
Seyward Goodhand grew up in Hastings County and the North York suburb of Newmarket. Her work has been short-listed for the McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize and a National Magazine Award and long-listed for the CBC Short Story Prize. Her award winning stories have appeared in Found Press, Riddle Fence, Cosmonauts Avenue, subTerrain, PRISM international, Grain, and Dragnet. She is a PhD student in English at the University of Toronto, and lives Winnipeg where she is a sessional instructor of academic writing.
“It’s a relief to find this kind of daring in Canadian fiction… a welcome corrective to the kind of morally corrective fiction that, in the end, doesn’t unsettle us. It was Kafka himself who said: “A book must be the axe for the frozen seas within us.” Goodhand’s axe is well-sharpened, and its blows echo.”—CNQ
“With a stroke of a pen, a talented author can turn blank pages and scribbles of ink into works of art, creating new worlds, life situations and more. Seyward Goodhand masterfully does this in Even That Wildest Hope, as she invites readers into a sea of serious subject matter through 10 stories that range from addressing identity crises, health issues and existentialism, leaving readers with only the choice to dive in… this book should be on the reading list of many who are still searching for that wildest hope in their lives.”—Uniter
“This deeply unsettling collection stunningly, skillfully unveils the better and the worse of keeping human.”—PRISM international
“Some of these stories, such as the opening Enkidu (The Epic of Gilgamesh, redux) and So I Can Win, the Galatrax Must Die, bring to mind the off-kilter worlds of Paige Cooper. But my favourites here are the maybe quieter but still pleasantly bizarre Pastoral and The Parachute.”—The Globe and Mail
“10 complex, determinedly fabulous stories [that] impress for sheer quirky inventiveness.”—Quill & Quire
“Seyward Goodhand writes with the soul of a genius taxidermist—so much fur torn from flesh to create works of brutal beauty. Like an Angela Carter hopped up on Black Beauties, Goodhand reinvents fairy tale and myth as complex moral quandaries. Intensely visceral—the body is here in all its blood and stink and hungering flesh—and deeply intelligent, Even That Wildest Hope surges with a delinquent passion and bravado originality rarely seen on the page. Devour these stories before they devour you.”—Zsuzsi Gartner, Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist for Better Living Through Plastic Explosives
“Read any sentence in this collection and you will know that Seyward Goodhand is a rare and original talent. Her lush and uncanny prose is like a funhouse mirror that reveals as much as it distorts. These are beautiful stories and a terrific debut.”—David Bezmozgis, Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist forThe Betrayers, and author of The Free World, & Natasha
“Even That Wildest Hope is a dark, gleaming, and sophisticated collection. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read before. Ancient and futuristic, these post-human stories seem to have an intelligence all their own. This book is unnerving, satisfying, and mysterious. It blew me away.”—Sarah Selecky, Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist for This Cake is for the Party, and author of Radiant Shimmering Light
“Goodhand creates new worlds out of pure energy, then splits them apart to reveal our wounded planet, our all too recognizable selves: ludicrously dangerous, pathetically greedy, lusting after destruction—and longing for love, always love. Astonishing. She had me at the first two sentences. It was a wonderful, unnerving read.”—Pauline Holdstock, Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist for Beyond Measure