Showcasing a selection of stories from Armin Wiebe's 30 year writing career, Armin's Shorts features tales from the familiarly fictitious Mennonite community of Gutenthal, re-imagined origin stories from the Tlįchǫ of the subarctic, and flights of pure fantasy set in modern day Winnipeg.
Funny enough to make your "grandmother sit up in her black trough coffin and laugh," and so gut wrenching you'll feel "that clunk in the heart, and that wrunsch in the stomach," master story teller, Armin Wiebe, presents a veritable smorgasbord of short stories that cover the gamut of human experience with a wry sense of humour, a stern sense of justice, and a warm and tender heart.
In this kaleidoscope of fictions, Armin Wiebe moves back and forth across borders--from the Flat German world of Gutenthal to the subarctic of Little Kollouch, from the wise foolishness of Koadel Kehler to the haunting poetry of "Go Bed to Yellowknife." Readers will laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time, as Wiebe illuminates, again and again, the humanity we share amidst the shattered fragments of the worlds we inhabit.
Magdalene Redekop, Professor Emerita, University of Toronto
Some of Armin Wiebe's finest writing has been about the constrained, measured rural world of the Mennonite farm. In Armin's Shorts, he revisits the people and situations that he does so well, and turns the ordinary lives of the men, women, and the children into emotion poetry. The stories will make you laugh to tears and cry real tears, often in the same sentence. This is a body of work, comprising everything from the mournful to the hilarious.
The characters are clumsy in love, awkward socially, and achingly sincere. Except when they're not. There's real anger and pain in these stories, and Armin manages to make heartbreak and yearning so damned attractive. I don't think Barn Dance will ever leave me.
As a bonus, there are a handful of stories of the First People in the tradition of Wiebe’s novel Tatsea, and they're as touching and enraging as they are beautiful to read. Wiebe’s a master of character moving lightly and artfully between worlds with such skill as to be seamless.
Armin Wiebe is a national treasure and I am heista kopp in love with this book.
Susie Moloney, author of A Dry Spell, The Dwelling, and The Thirteen
This collection serves as a good introduction to the fictional worlds that Armin has created over his thirty-year writing career. It also serves as a testament to his willingness to branch out and develop new ideas, explore new voices and tell new tales.
Lonnie Smetana, The Winnipeg Review
In Armin’s Shorts [...] coveting is painful, funny, wistful, melancholy and always endlessly captivating.
Deanna Smid, Faith Today
Wiebe's range as a writer is evident in this collection. He deftly reveals the foibles of Mennonite culture and human nature—the contradictions, the ignorance—but also the principled commitment, intelligence, imagination, and courage of characters navigating difficult circumstances.
Roger Groening, Rhubarb Magazine
Turnstone Press acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council, the Government of Canada, and the Province of Manitoba through Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage.