You Are Not Needed Now
You Are Not Needed Now is a brilliant new collection of stories from Annette Lapointe, author of the Giller-nominated novel Stolen. Often set within the small towns of the Canadian prairies, the stories in You Are Not Needed Now dissect and examine the illusion of appearances, the myth of normalcy, and the allure of artifice. Lapointe presents characters who are extraordinarily real. They are often strange, vulgar, or messy: collecting blood-stained cotton pads and hairs from shower drains, slicing through skin to get more urgent medical treatment for testosterone withdrawal, storing the heart of a dead infant in a glass jar, kneeling on the dirty wet floors of a bathroom stall to perform oral sex. Despite the diversity, strangeness, and complexity of her characters, Lapointe illustrates a remarkable understanding of each one. She knows them so intimately, and gives her reader the gift of knowing them, too. Lapointe is adept at looking closely, and exposes her characters' faults and vulnerabilities, humiliations and vanities, in illuminating and surprising ways. Trapped in this inescapable place-life-her characters linger somewhere between apathy and obsession, compassion and disregard, conflict and avoidance. This is a bold collection of stories, rich with nuance, originality, and depth.