What I Want to Tell Goes Like This
by Matt Rader
“These fiercely beautiful stories create a kaleidoscopic vision of a very real but sometimes unsettling world. This is not just another first book of stories, but is something remarkably strong, original and new.”
—Jack Hodgins, author of Cadillac Cathedral
Book DescriptionWhat I Want to Tell Goes Like This is an intensely original first short story collection from acclaimed poet Matt Rader. The last story, "All This Was a Long Time Ago," is the 2014 winner of the Jack Hodgins Founders' Award for fiction from The Malahat Review, and other offerings from the collection have appeared in Event, The New Quarterly, Grain, Joyland, Forget Magazine and the Rusty Toque.
Rader's command of tension is masterful in these dark, off-kilter stories that are largely set in the context of the working/labour class in and around the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, BC. They alternate between exploring the history of severe labour struggles in the area over a century ago, and the present-day experiences of people sliding through transitional, ambiguous moments in their relationships and sexuality. The juxtaposition of the two time periods seems to hint at the echoes of the harsh, violent legacy of the earlier age and its power struggles that continue to resonate in contemporary life.
In What I Want to Tell Goes Like This, we are witness to the controversial shooting death of infamous union activist Albert "Ginger" Goodwin by a police constable in 1918; to the squalor of tent cities erected on the Royston Bay mudflats during the Great Vancouver Coal Strike of 1912-14; to two boys’ experimentation with sexual violence at the end of a secluded logging road; and to clarity and companionship found in a small cabin by the sea as a son cares for his dying father—a rough man who abandoned him when he was eight. In Rader's artful tales of grit and mystery, danger never feels far away.