Winner of the W.O. Mitchell/City of Calgary Award
A debut collection, these stories are set in the corporeal world of adult endeavour: the mall, the office, the subdivision. It’s these settings that W. Mark Giles exploits—locking his sights on eerily familiar characters, excavating their fears, intimacies, and the dark machinery behind their actions. He taps into our collective longing for moments of clarity and awe, recognizes our thwarted potential for wonder, and sees our secrets played out in cruelty. A strangely unified collection, unsettling and surprising, Knucklehead
resides where the lines between real and imagined blur. Giles’s penetrating view and unsentimental honesty shape these stories and push the reader’s expectations of the “ordinary.” These are mature and compelling narratives that encapsulate everything great about short fiction. They freeze a moment, but upon closer examination reveal something more, a message that resonates long after that story has been read.
Praise for Knucklehead & Other Stories
“Elegant riddles dressed in workaday clothes, puzzles of image and event whose solutions cut to the heart of being human in a world of perils …. There’s not a word or image that fails to contribute to Giles’ purpose.”
– The Globe & Mail
“Giles’ style is polished and assured throughout …. Knucklehead is a solid debut.”
—Quill & Quire
After many years mired in the middle-management muddle of transnational corporations, Mark is now a writer and an educator. His first book Knucklehead & Other Stories (Anvil) was honoured with the W.O. Mitchell City of Calgary Book Award. His writing — fiction, poetry, and non-fiction — has appeared in magazines in both Canada and the U.S.A. Saskatchewan-born, Edmonton-raised, with stops in Victoria, Kelowna, Montreal, and Halifax, W. Mark Giles now calls Calgary home.