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The Late Season

Stephen Hines

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With the late season, Stephen Hines’ debut story collection, the lives revealed and the places they inhabit are an easy dimension to switch into. Each mysterious and intimate, these stories have a unique ambience of exotic and sparse ordinariness. The mood is a steady heartbeat even when the characters are anguished.

Some examples. In the title story, carpet salesman Mr Halliday has overstayed his welcome. Lost and looking for answers, his presence shifts the fabric of the family, his own sadness a slow drowning. 'honeymoon', where mother and child don’t return from a boat outing, the terror of a grief stricken imagination takes over. The intriguingly titled 'a 1946 DeSoto Custom Convertible on the first day of spring' is a short story but when you read it, feels so much longer. It’s an ordinary working day for Jerry: winter is melting and there is gas to pump. But his day is interrupted by truancy specialist Brian and things aren’t quite the same again. The disorientating 'this time, right here' hitches a ride with a concussed driver who pulls into The Blue Spot motel. When the protagonist asks about the blue dots everywhere, the receptionist replies:"‘The owner thinks they’re lucky," then continues, "Aren’t you the one from the accident?"

Stephen Hines could be Canada’s most overlooked writer. His words are smooth on the eyes, generous with internal thoughts, captivating visuals and perfectly natural banter. His writing and artwork has appeared in many magazines and publications around the globe, including Anthenaeum, Grain, Prairie Fire, MILK, Regime and Gaspereau Review.

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