Half-Wild and Other Stories of Encounter

Author: Emily Paskevics
ISBN: 9781771872485 Categories: Fiction, Nature & the Environment, Short Stories (single author) Tags: , , , ,
Publication Date: 5 September, 2023
Dimensions: 6 x 8.62"

Intergenerational conflicts unfold in a context of environmental change and degradation in this eerily original debut short fiction collection.

Emily Paskevics takes her characters–mothers, daughters, fathers, sisters–into the wilderness to lose themselves in their primal nature . . . or to find what they’ve always been missing, as they struggle in a borderland between irrevocable environmental change and hope for ecological connection and healing.

A man searches for his wife and son who have mysteriously vanished into the woods while they were exploring a small island in Northern Ontario– are they truly lost, or did the woods rescue them from an inadequate husband and father? A mother takes her daughters into the remote wilderness to tell them about a harrowing encounter with a mountain lion, only to find that her story has already been told and is no longer quite her own. An old woman stands on a frozen river, contemplating her own death, until she locks eyes with a curious fox. A retired professor-turned-beekeeper has an affair with a former student, and ultimately learns that she can live alone on the edge of wilderness.

Subtly subverting traditional nature writing, in Paskevics’ stories the forest is burning, rivers are flooding, and the exploitation of land looms large. At a time when human-animal sharing of territory is more fraught than ever, these enthralling tales challenge us to consider how our own existence intersects with the wild creatures we share the earth with, and to understand our place in a threatened ecosystem.

About the Author

Emily Paskevics is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her work has appeared in several publications, including Vallum Magazine, The Humber Literary Review, and Hart House Review. In 2022 she was a finalist for the Writers Trust of Canada’s RBC Bronwen Wallace Award, for her short story “Wild Girls.” She was also longlisted for the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize for her story “Little Wild Creatures.” She divides her time between Toronto and Montreal.


Praise for Half-Wild and Other Stories of Encounter:

“Emily Paskevics’ wilderness is a land apart. In her distinct and beautifully rendered stories, humans and wild animals exist on parallel planes, where reckoning might come in the form of a blue coyote with its own story to tell. Her characters, often bent on escape, are neither welcomed nor absolved, but find wonder and meaning in a world that is struggling to survive.”
—Dianne Warren, author of Cool Water and The Diamond House

“Emily Paskevics’s prose will leave you with an urge to wander into the nearest forest, linger, listen, and above all, feel.”
— Derek Mascarenhas, author of Coconut Dreams

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