With dreamlike stories and dark humor, Anecdotes is a hybrid collection in four parts examining the pressing realities of sexual violence, abuse, and environmental collapse. Absurdist flash fictions in “The Boy is Dead” depict characters such as a woman lamenting a stolen laptop the day the world ends; and birds slamming into glass buildings. “We’re Not Here to Talk About Aliens” follows a young protagonist from childhood to early 20s, through the murky undercurrent of potential violence amidst sexual awakening, from first periods to flashers, sticker books to maxi pad art, acid trips to blackouts, and creepy professors to close calls. “This Isn’t a Conversation” shares one-liners from overheard conversations, found texts, diary entries, and random thoughts: many are responses to the absurdity and pain of the current political and environmental climate. In “My Dream House,” the past and the future are personified as various incarnations in relationships to one another (lovers, a parent and child, siblings, friends), all engaged in ongoing conflict. These varied, immersive works bristle with truth in the face of unprecedented change. They are playful forms for serious times.
Kathryn Mockler is the author of five books of poetry. She co-edited the print anthology Watch Your Head: Writers and Artists Respond to the Climate Crisis (2020) and is the publisher of the Watch Your Head website. She runs Send My Love to Anyone, a literary newsletter, and is an Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria where she teaches screenwriting and fiction.
"Mockler’s writing isn’t afraid to look at the world and see it for what it is. Her stories are so deeply immersive you’ll never want to leave. An absolute must-read if you live on this planet and even if you don’t.” —Carleigh Baker, author of Bad Endings.