The Eagle & The Weasel

I'd prefer not to

Tag: Blatant self-promotion

Sweet Affliction (finally)

I’m very pleased to announce that my book of short stories, Sweet Affliction, is coming out in one month. I made a little page for it, where I’ll post pertinent information as it comes up.

As of April 15th you’ll be able to buy it at your local independent bookstore, or you can order it online.
If you’re in Montreal, I’m having a launch on April 16th, at Drawn&Quarterly, 211 Bernard Est. I’ll read from the book, and will be interviewed by writer and translator Melissa Bull. See you there?

A pregnancy test is taken at a wedding, a bad diagnosis leads a patient to a surprising outlook, and a civic holiday becomes a dystopian nightmare. By turns caustic, tender, and creepily hilarious, Sweet Affliction reveals the frailties, perversions, and resilience of Anna Leventhal’s cast of city-dwellers. Shiftless youths, a compulsive collector of cigarette butts, and a dying pet rat populate fifteen sharply-observed and darkly funny stories that suck at the marrow of modern life.

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Leventhal’s work grasps multiple and brazen connections between sisters, lovers, strangers, friends. These stories wander and please. They knife unexpectedly. Truth is lodged in all the cuts. These stories “know the things energy can do.”

Tamara Faith Berger, author of Maidenhead

Sweet Affliction is — no big deal or anything — one of the most successful, high-functioning, sometimes perfect collections of short stories I’ve read in recent memory.

Andrew Hood, author of The Cloaca

These stories stand Canadian literature on its head — amazing characters, totally original and unexpected situations, absolutely hilarious and heartfelt prose — Anna Leventhal is a one-of-a-kind talent.

Lee Henderson, author of The Man Game

Garbage and cake

I wrote a short story set on Moving Day, which here in Montreal is the day that replaces Canada day – apartment leases come up on July 1st, so once a year a giant citywide game of musical chairs goes on. Rental rates are exceptionally high in Montreal – we’re a city of tenants, not owners. So Moving Day is kind of a civic holiday, albeit an incredibly stressful one, with furniture and garbage instead of cake and fireworks.

The premise of the story is this: What if, on July 1st, if you didn’t own property, you had to move? It’s kind of a jam on institutionalized instability, but also flexibility and adaptation… ugh this makes it sound very dull. Anyway if you want to find out for yourself, my publisher Paper Pusher is offering free shipping on it right now.

They are the best! And getting mail is the best too!

A reading

Back to the world of things – like, actual things – I’ve been invited to read at Maisonneuve Magazine’s 10th anniversary party. I like this magazine a lot, and it’s pretty cool that I’ll be reading with people like Kathleen Winter, Jacob Wren, and Melissa Bull. I don’t know what I’m going to read yet – probably something from my collection of short stories, though if I’m feeling ballsy maybe I’ll pick something from the novel. The widdle baby novel. Nope, probably not. Anyway, come!

Moving Day & Other Stories

Moving Day & Other Stories

I’m proud to have three of my short stories published in a booklet by Paper Pusher micropress.  This guy loves paper and ink like you love Jay-Z and bonbons.  It’s a handsome little risograph print with my stories Moving Day, Last Man Standing, and Sweet Affliction.  Here’s the publisher’s description:

With incisive humour and caustic sympathy, in three short stories, Anna Leventhal gives us characters that live in a world strolling a few steps beside our own. Exploring class, ownership, and civic duty, Moving Day captures the totalitarian exercise of a mandatory, city-wide move and the effect of its bureaucratic mishaps. The shiftless narrator of Last Man Standing has his social bubble threatened by a dubious emergency, while a diagnosis in Sweet Affliction suggests a new stage in human evolution.

You can get it sent to your actual physical mailbox by a nice person in a hot uniform here.

Last Man Standing

This story first appeared in Maisonneuve last summer.   It was recorded in my kitchen, read by John Dunhill, Famous Actor and my apartment building’s caretaker.  I’d been wanting to collaborate with John for a long time.  He’s been in movies, mostly terrible, with Johnny Depp, Michael Caine, and Gerard Butler.  He played one of the elders of Sparta in 300.  He also plays a corpse convincingly, which is apparently hard to do.  He’s the kind of guy who tells you stories that sound like the most obvious kind of bullshitting, and then they turn out to be true. For instance, he changed one of his dogs’ names from Walter to Johnny, after his good buddy Johnny Depp. Yeah, okay. But then I watched Secret Window, and there he is with a screwdriver stuck in his head, being pushed over a cliff by America’s moody darling. (I would have posted a spoiler alert, but honestly this movie is so bad that I am probably doing you a favour if this prevents you from watching it.)

Some things about John that are probably true:

- Albert Camus once told him he was the quintessential “homme revolte”
– He has a white pitbull named Blanco.  This dog’s head is the size of a bowling ball.  Sometimes he sings “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” to the dog (this is definitely true, I’ve heard it).
– He knows the true story of Charlie Manson and Sharon Tate.
– He played Gogo in a production of Waiting for Godot directed by Samuel Beckett.

Anyway, I recorded him reading this story I wrote.

The drawing is by the wonderful Sarah Pupo (as is my header image).

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