You Can’t Stay Here

Author: Jasmina Odor
ISBN: 9781771871440 Categories: SOCIAL SCIENCE, Fiction, Emigration & Immigration, Short Stories (single author), War & Military
Publication Date: 1 October, 2017
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5"

“A Board of Perfect Pine”

Upon the return from a trip to Barcelona, Nina and Josh go to a Christmas party at his parents’ place. After a lot of wine, the boundaries between self and other start to blur as do the lines of relationships.

“You Can’t Stay Here”

Immigrating from Croatia to Canada, pregnant Ivona and husband Sven do the best they can. Pressure continues to mount against them as their son, Mario, is diagnosed with autism and Sven’s parents come from Croatia to live with them in their one-bedroom apartment.

“In Vancouver, with David”

Lidija and her boyfriend go to Vancouver to visit Lidija’s cousin, whom she hasn’t seen since they were kids in Croatia. While there, the harshness of a rich man towards a beggar shocks her into a deep grief.

“Bless the Day”

A woman is asked by two homeless people for a smoke. She offers them her last cigarette, then joins them on the grass in the sun.


A break-up takes Jelena back to Croatia to visit her father after years of not seeing him. There she reflects upon the unknowns in her relationships and her ideas of home.

“Skin Like Almonds”

An unlikely group of friends find themselves on the Croatian coast together. They are bound by beach time and volleyball while enjoying a last summer “on the verge of being no longer young”.

“Postcard from the Adriatic”

A family of women spend their days at the edge of the Adriatic Sea, awaiting the return of the men from war during the occupation in Croatia. Young girls go to flirt with young boys, while the older women sit frozen in their chairs, watching soaps, riddled with anxiety.

“Politely or By Force”

A woman without means searches for comfort through routines and casual sex that distract but can’t ease her wartime aches.


An old man who won’t leave his home on the frontline contemplates the meaning of ownership and family as he questions whether the land he has spent his life tending, now war-torn, is still his.

“Everyone Has Come”

When surrounded by violence one can become numb to others’ pain. But the moment we put ourselves in their shoes are the moments we begin to feel our hearts break and open.


The innocence of schoolgirl love contrasts the harshness of the world, and explores a young love where “five months is a long time”.


For Amanda there is only one beacon of hope capable of pulling her out of the deadness of the fog and into the sunshine: Barcelona.

“Love and In-Between”

How can we make love stay? In the cold Canadian winter Tatiana, Jonathan, and Shannon navigate the realms of loving.

“The Lesser Animal”

Toma tries leading a regular Canadian suburban life, but the memories of his wartime past keep shadowing the present. The violence of that past merges with the present in his brother-in-law’s abuse of Toma’s sister.

“The Time of the Apricots”

Even in times of abundance, our histories catch up to us. Alex tries to navigate his current largess under the weight of a past that dogs him.

About the Author

Jasmine Odor was born in Croatia and immigrated to Canada in 1993. She currently lives in Edmonton, where she teaches English and writing at Concordia University of Edmonton, and is at work on a novel. Her fiction and reviews have appeared in many Canadian magazines and anthologies, including The New Quarterly, The Malahat Review, Eighteen Bridges, PRISM international, and The Journey Prize Stories. In 2014, her story “His” won the Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story, and silver at the Alberta Magazine Awards.


“My first impression of Jasmina Odor’s work was of fiction precisely made in order to capture chaotic times, vivid emotions and lurking danger. I read her early stories but I felt then — as I still feel — that I was reading the work of an experienced writer, someone who knows things I am grateful to learn.”

— André Alexis, Giller Prize-winning author of Fifteen Dogs


The Malahat Review’s Open Season Contest, Fiction Category, 2016 (winner)
Journey Prize, 2011 (long-listed)
Alberta Magazine Awards, 2014 (winner)
Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story, 2014 (winner)

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