The Dead Are More Visible by Steven Heighton

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Heighton is an ambitious writer, which means he occasionally aims further than he can shoot. In the last story, “Swallow,” the plethora of secondary characters overwhelms the central plight of the protagonist.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

An astoundingly original and tightly curated collection of stories from the award-winning author of Every Lost Country and Afterlands.
 
It is remarkably easy to accept Al Purdy's assertion that Steven Heighton--renowned for his craftsmanship, risk-taking, insight and range--"is one of the best writers of his generation, maybe the best." The Dead Are More Visible highlights his strengths at writing fiction that does not sacrifice humour, depth and emotion for the sake of brevity. These 11 profoundly moving and finely crafted stories encapsulate wildly divergent themes of love and loss, containment and exclusion. In the title story, a parks & rec worker faces an assailant who does not leave the altercation intact. A medical researcher and his claustrophobic fiancée are locked in the trunk of their car after a failed carjacking (the thief can't drive standard). A young woman enters a pharmaceutical trial in the outer reaches of suburbia and slips between sleeping and waking with increasingly alarming ease. Pairing the cultural acuity of Lost in Translation with the compassion and reach of The World According to Garp, Heighton breathes new life into the short story, a genre that is finally coming into its own.
 

About Steven Heighton

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Steven Heighton is the author of the novel Afterlands, which has appeared in six countries; was a "New York Times Book Review" Editors' Choice along with a best book of the year selection in ten publications in Canada, the US, and the UK; and has been optioned for film. He is also the author of The Shadow Boxer, a Canadian bestseller and a "Publishers Weekly" Book of the Year. His work has been translated into ten languages, and his poems and stories have appeared in the "London Review of Books," "Poetry," "Tin House," "The Walrus," "Europe," "Agni," "Poetry London," "Brick," "Best English Stories," and many others. Heighton has won several awards and has been nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award, the Trillium Award, and Britain's W.H. Smith Award.
 
Published May 1, 2012 by Knopf Canada. 272 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Dead Are More Visible
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Alex Good on May 26 2012

The stories collected in The Dead Are More Visible show Heighton at his best and most familiar.

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National Post arts

Below average
Reviewed by Jeet Heer on May 25 2012

Heighton is an ambitious writer, which means he occasionally aims further than he can shoot. In the last story, “Swallow,” the plethora of secondary characters overwhelms the central plight of the protagonist.

Read Full Review of The Dead Are More Visible | See more reviews from National Post arts

National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Jeet Heer on May 25 2012

It is a testament to Heighton’s authorial gifts that he not only can write about sex with exquisite delicacy, but that many of the best passages in his stories are about intimacy in the broadest sense, meaning not just carnal acts but the full spectrum of sensations that underlie all human relationships...

Read Full Review of The Dead Are More Visible | See more reviews from National Post arts

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