Tapping into the voyeuristic human compulsion that attracts us to the dirty little secrets of other peoples' lives, Oscar Martens' stories peel back layers of contemporary society, revealing a sordid underside.
In the title story, the girl with the full figure reveals a poorly kept secret to a family more at ease with denial than healing. Elsewhere in the collection, unexplainable compulsions lead to suspect sexual liasons. Planes crash. Corporate secrets are stolen. A young girl is murdered. It's all here, all told by a formidable talent unafraid to play with narrative form, revealing nuances hidden in the periphery of the text. Oscar Martens' stories are gritty and ceaselessly gripping.
"The rapidly unreeling dream (or nightmare) of each of these stories - stories of drifters, hookers, highway victims, corporate spies adn con-men, dead-beat dads and the heartbroken - comes at us from off-kilter angles that are wholly the author's own. His imagination is bold and unbreaking, his instinct for the aptest detail is sure-fire. Here is an inignorable debut."
-- Steven Heighton, author of the bestselling novel The Shadow Boxer
"Rife with the blackest humour, quirky, unadorned, Oscar Martens' stories are full of characters on a collision course with each other and with the world. In the resulting aftermath, we gain this original new voice, this dark, edgy satirist of the human condition."
-- Nadine McInnis, author of the acclaimed Quicksilver
Oscar Martens has been publishing fiction and poetry in literary journals for over 15 years. His work has been read on CBC Radio and shortlisted for the Bronwen Wallace Award. Although currently living in Burnaby, Oscar has lived in Victoria, Ottawa, Kenya and New Zealand.