A pilot’s widow finds new ways to cope; a teenaged girl navigates an embarrassing sex ed class; a beautiful bohemian woman turns a neighbourhood on its head. These are just some of the nine stories in Ontario writer Miranda Hill’s award-winning collection Sleeping Funny. Hill reads at the Nelson Public Library on Thursday, April 21 at 7 p.m.
Quill & Quire wrote: “Like Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole and arriving in a strange and exotic land, reading one of Miranda Hill’s stories is to be delivered to an almost dreamlike place where familiar themes in fiction — love, loss, family, identity, faith — reveal themselves in delightfully unexpected, unsettling ways.”
The book, which won the City of Hamilton Book Award, includes the story “Petitions to Saint Chronic,” itself winner of the Journey Prize.
“One nice thing about having a book of stories like Sleeping Funny,” she told Open Book Ontario, “is that there is a whole roster of reading possibilities to choose from: in this case, nine separate stories with different voices, time periods, and moods. I like to eyeball the crowd on the night of any event and think what they might like to hear.”
Hill is at work on a novel, The Wiles, which will be published in fall 2017 by Knopf. When she is not writing, she’s busy: she is the founder and executive director of Project Bookmark Canada, which works to commemorate the settings of Canadian novels, placing stories and poems at the exact locations of a literary scene. Recently, a “bookmark” was installed in Vancouver’s — also Wayson Choy’s — Chinatown. She is on the board of the legendary Canadian showcase of music and literature, Writers at Woody Point (Newfoundland and Labrador).
Hill is in the area with her husband, novelist Lawrence Hill, who will read from his new novel and Canada reads selection The Illegal on Friday, April 22 at 7 p.m. at Mary Hall, Tenth Street Campus (admission is $10; more information at selkirkcollege.ca).
Miranda Hill’s reading is free, but donations at the door are always welcome. Otter Books will be on hand with copies for sale. Miranda Hill appears with financial assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts through the Writers’ Union of Canada.