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Reviews

Praise for Stacey May Fowles, Infidelity, Be Good, and Fear of Fighting.

The Globe and Mail: “The affair – seduction, desire, heartache – can overturn a life. Stacey May Fowles’s third novel, Infidelity, recounts an affair, but it is also a twisting exploration of that ‘life,’ the one that came before the affair, the life so painful to dismantle because it, too, was built on hope and trust. ‘Maybe I’m here,’ a young woman, Ronnie, tells her married lover, ’so I can help you live your life better.’”

The National Post: “The power of Infidelity lies in Fowles’ intricate understanding of emotions and incredibly precise mapping out of the architecture of an affair. Sex on the desk quickly becomes clandestine meetings, daytime conversations, touching legs under the table in a Bay Street bar, hotel rooms and ultimately love, tenderness and deep connection. It is because of Fowles’ complete lack of judgment that we find ourselves rooting for Charlie and Ronnie despite their double lives, and more importantly, like the characters themselves, questioning conventional notions of love and security — the true strength of this book.”

Quill and Quire: “Fear of Fighting, Stacey May Fowles’ second novel, is as gut-wrenching as it is delightful. Fowles navigates the devastating terrain of a broken heart with grace, humour, and wit…Marnie’s gritty, unabashedly candid first-person narration weaves between past and present. The chapters are brief, and many of them have sufficient substance to stand alone, which is one of the novel’s best features…a collection of insignificant moments that, when placed next to one another, are infused with meaning…we have all wallowed in self-pity following the failure of a relationship, and Fowles captures those months of obsession and regret with power and insight.”

The Coast: “Fowles’ writing is poetic yet simple, and even her frequent pop culture references are applied with a graceful, light hand… Zuber’s drawings synthesize the day-to-day minutae of Marnie’s internal world with humour, heartache and guts… Fear of Fighting is a worthy, relatable read.”

Eye Weekly: “Paired well with Zuber’s drawings, Fowles words are simple and elegant. She has perfectly bottled the ennui and cruel narcissism of people old enough to have bad credit but still young enough to puke outside of bars. Even if you’re comfortably past that age, Fowles’ book is worth the sobering read. After all, we’re never as far from our worst years as we think we are.”

Broken Pencil Magazine:
“…Stacey May Fowles’ first novel…definitely proves she’s a writer filled with talent and insight…The writing is sharp and evocative and shows a deep level of sympathy for the characters and keen psychological understanding…the strength of the writing makes Be Good a very enjoyable read.”

This Magazine:
“…probably the most finely realized small press novel to come out of Canada in the last year…Thank you, Stacey May Fowles.”

The Toronto Star: “Be Good is an endearing and ambitious novel, chronicling the ‘walking wounded’ of a Canadian youth afflicted by a culture that implores them to ‘be good’ or ‘go west young f—ed-up chick.’”

The Globe and Mail:
“Toronto writer Stacey May Fowles is cruising a scarred landscape between the poles of gay and straight. Refreshingly, she never labours over which pole Hannah or Morgan might favour. Be Good is about twentysomethings stranded among our multiple definitions of what love is, between aimless wants and serial not-havings.”

Quill and Quire: “…the novel offers a thoughtful examination of sexuality, relationships, and what it means to tell the truth.”

The Feminist Review: “In her mesmeric debut novel Be Good, young author Stacey May Fowles demonstrates a budding mastery over the poetic aspects of prose. She showers the reader time and again with rhythmically beautiful sentences…Her skill in using unique description to create evocative landscapes and mindscapes has a hypnotic effect…overall this is an enchanting novel…”

Broken Pencil: “With She’s Shameless, the current publisher and editor of Shameless magazine take aim at the incredibly unrealistic demands put upon young girls and women by the likes of popular fashion and style magazines like Vogue, Seventeen and Elle. Both the book and the magazine attempt to reassure young girls that there is something more to life than the standards of unthinking, apolitical, apathetic and beauty-obsessed consumption offered by the mainstream media. Above all, it seeks to rid young women of feelings of shame-for their bodies, sexuality, gender, outlook and so forth.”

“In turns, humourous and hard-wired, tawdry and tender, Stacey May Fowles’ Be Good is essential reading for women in their 20s. For anyone beyond, this novel rebuilds the importance of those years, illuminating the darkest parts, and startling in its ability to remind you where you’ve been. Fowles knows how to make sentences shake their booty in the best of vintage dresses. Her writing sings love songs for best friends who have gone to the brink.”
Emily Schultz, author of Black Coffee Night and Joyland

“Stacey May Fowles’ first novel is a startling and beautiful examination of love sickness in its many forms. It’s a novel of true love and dirty secrets, high comedy and heartbreak, and Fowles pulls no punches and misses no marks. Bright, smart, and sexy, Be Good announces the arrival of a wonderful new voice in Canadian fiction.”
Michael Redhill, author of Consolation

“Be Good whispers clumsy drunken memories and desperate revisionist accounts into the ears of readers, capturing perfectly the quarter-life crisis in all its sexy, sleazy, blissful agony.”
Zoe Whittall, author of Bottle Rocket Hearts