In this Book
Hugh Garner’s Best Stories presents a collection of short prose that spans a quarter-century, and develops a keen, careful view of Canada’s changing social conditions. Composed between the late 1930s and the early 1960s, these stories reflect the immense flux of the mid-century, from the Great Depression to the Spanish Civil War, World War II, the Civil Rights movement, and second-wave feminism. Garner takes on issues ranging from the anglophone-francophone conflict in Canada to racism in the American South, from the mistreatment of the mentally disabled to the erasure of First Nations’ people from Canadian culture.
Garner’s stories showcase a deep concern for overlooked members of society. He returns to the experiences of Spanish Civil War volunteer soldiers—, having served in the International Brigades as one of only two Canadian fiction writers (with Ted Allan) who volunteered in the fight against Franco. Best Stories is not only notable for its prose—which registers economic and emotional conflict with devastating precision—but also for its unique, important contribution to the Spanish Civil War literary canon, and its invaluable survey of Canadian society from the 1930s to the 1960s.
The 1963 collection was awarded the Governor General’s Award for English-language fiction but is now out of print. This new edition brings short fiction by Garner—best known for the novel Cabbagetown—into conversation with the wider canon of Canadian and transnational Spanish Civil War literature, midcentury modernist literature, proletarian fiction, and realism.
Table of Contents
- Hugh Garner’s Best Stories
- pp. 1-2