The Little Washer of Sorrows

Author: Katherine Fawcett
ISBN: 9781771870665 Categories: Fiction, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology, Magical Realism, Short Stories (single author)
Publication Date: 15 March, 2015
Dimensions: 6 x 8.62"

The Little Washer of Sorrows is a collection of short stories that explores what happens when the expected and usual are replaced with elements of the rare and strange. The book’s emotional impact is created with strong, richly drawn characters facing universal issues in unusual settings. The collection is both dark and comical with engaging plot twists and elements of the macabre as characters attempt to cope with high-stakes melodramas that drift further out of their control.
The collection’s opening story “Captcha” begins with a perfect wife — mathematical genius and Kokanee beer model Margo — sending her husband Pete off to work before setting about her household chores. When she finds Pete’s filing cabinet unlocked, curiosity gets the best of her and she makes a life-changing discovery. The oddity increases in “Johnny Longsword’s Third Option” where a male stripper sits impatiently in a mysterious waiting room reflecting on his life as the by-the-books gatekeeper tests his patience. In the title story, Greg is convinced that the assistant estate manager at a bankruptcy office, green-eyed Fiona, is an Irish banshee. Could she be a mythological fairy who has appeared as a prophet of doom, washing the dirty laundry of a person whose demise is approaching?
The threat of something sinister lingers beneath the surface in many of Fawcett’s stories, as she explores the messy “what ifs?” of life and the ever-present paradox of free will.

About the Author

Katherine Fawcett was born in Montreal, raised in Calgary, has lived in Japan, and now calls the small town of Pemberton, British Columbia home. She started her writing career as a sports reporter before venturing into freelance journalism and commercial writing. After becoming a mother and turning forty, Katherine could no longer ignore her tendency to dance fancy jigs on the boundary between real and imagined and has since turned her hand to fiction. She teaches music in Whistler, BC, and plays fiddle in a band called The Wild Irises. Her short fiction has been published in Wordworks, Event, Freefall, subTerrain, and Other Voices, and her plays have been performed by several community theatre groups.

AWARD RECOGNITION:Winner Federation of BC Writers Short Story Contest: 2008.
Winner Whistler Writes Creative Non-Fiction Award: 2008.
Winner Event Magazine Non-Fiction Contest: 2009.
Nominated for National Magazine Award for Personal Journalism: 2009.
Finalist Burnaby Writers Society “Lost and Found” Competition: 2009.
Shortlisted for Writers’ Union of Canada Writing for Children Contest: 2009.
Finalist for Writers’ Union of Canada Writing for Children Competition: 2009.
Honourable mention in Freefall Magazine Prose Contest: 2009.Winner Pique “Summer of Funny” Contest: 2009.
Shortlisted for Event Non-fiction Contest: 2011.
Shortlisted for Event Non-fiction Contest: 2012.
Longlisted for Carter V. Cooper/Exile Short Fiction Competition: 2014


“An aging male stripper arguing with St Peter at the Pearly Gates, a cuckold hunting unicorn, an android who learns to love Leonard Cohen – Katherine Fawcett is blessed with a fierce imagination. Her style is as original and as wildly diverse as her characters, with stories that range from gritty realism to magical fantasy to wise fable. Fawcett’s voice is bold and confident but also surprisingly playful, with unexpected comedy sprinkled throughout the collection.”- Angie Abdou

“Funny and compassionate, this collection of stories leaves you with an understanding of our humanness – foibles, beauty, warts and all.” – Stella Harvey, author of Nicolai’s Daughters

“Katherine Fawcett works magic here, whips imagination, wit and anarchy into gold. Each story finds a place where our culture is already strange and jumps off from there. ” – Fred Stenson

“Katherine Fawcett’s unique, fast-paced, witty, hits-you-in-the-gut funny short stories appeal to some of our deepest fantasies and darkest questions, such as ‘what happens to us after we die?’ and ‘what if I could create my ideal mate?’ Like a magician, Fawcett uses language to create illusion and to reveal truth in a most engaging way.”- Sue Oakey

“Katherine Fawcett inhabits a bizarre back-alley of carnies and pyramid schemes, daily affirmations, making-do and derring-do: a Diane Arbus world of freaks and fables that is at once hilarious, surprising, and profound, turning our view of the place we live in upside down. . . Oddball, yet strangely familiar, the creatures spawned in Fawcett’s imagination will move into yours. You’ll never be the same again.” -Merilyn Simonds

“Fawcett’s stories turn left just when you think they’ll turn right; they step on the gas and race deep into the heart of her characters’ bizarre lives.” – Stephen Vogler
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