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In October of 2018, Biblioasis published my seventh book, Late Breaking. This is my fifth book of short stories, and, like most of the others, is a linked collection. Besides recurring characters, the stories share a common inspiration source, namely the paintings of Alex Colville.
In 2014, shortly after my last book, All Saints, was published, I attended the Alex Colville exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO.) I left knowing I would come back a second time, possibly a third. It was all so rich, so layered, linking the painter's work with that of artists as disparate as Alice Munro and the Coen brothers.
Why had I not seen the Alice Munro connection before this? Both creators pay meticulous attention to everyday detail - a dog's raised paw; the seams of a summer dress. Colville's invisible brushwork has its counterpart in Munro's transparent prose. And of course, there is that ever-present sense of menace. No matter how tiny their focus, both artists capture something that looms. That impends.
Every Alex Colville painting, like every Alice Munro story, is an endless corridor lined with doors just slightly ajar. As I roamed the rooms of the gallery, the phrase The Colville Stories formed in my mind. It became a mantra. The Colville Stories. The Colville Stories. I felt as if I could spend the rest of my life gazing into those paintings. Pulling stories out of them.
Well, I spent the next three years doing just that. And the result is Late Breaking. Not only is there a Colville painting on the cover, but each story is preceded by the visual work that was its inspiration.
Late Breaking is on the long list for the 2019 Toronto Book Awards; the short list will be announced on August 15.
My essay on how Alex Colville’s painting inspired Late Breaking is in the December 15 issue of The Globe and Mail (subscribers only)
Another “Best Books” listing: Late Breaking is included in Pickle Me This’s “2018: Books of the Year”
Late Breaking is included in the Globe and Mail's list of 100 Best Books of 2018 (G&M subscribers only!)
Late Breaking is included in Quill & Quire’s “Books of the Year 2018”
Kerry Clare’s Books on the Radio spot on CBC’s Ontario Morning offers a glowing recommendation for Late Breaking — links in the Media section below.
K.D. Miller was interviewed by Mary Hynes on CBC's Tapestry and by Shelagh Rogers on The Next Chapter.
All Saints made the Globe 100 list for 2014.
All Saints was short-listed for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Go to the Media section below for more stories and pictures.
K.D. Miller is a poet, essayist, novelist and short story writer living in Toronto. She also teaches a variety of writing courses, which you can check out on the Courses page.
She is the author of four short story collections, a collection of essays and a novel. Check out the Books page for synopses and reviews — what the critics have to say.
“If this book doesn’t get a Giller prize nod, something is wrong.” — Read Anne Kingston’s review in Maclean’s