An ALA 2014 Over the Rainbow Selection An Amazon.ca Best Book of 2013: Top 100/Editors' Pick A Vancouver Sun Favourite Read of 2013 "Reading Cullen . is a little like drinking booze. Definitely not wine, because it's not all that genteel, and not beer, because it's not all that commonplace, but hard liquor because it's edgy, fast-acting, more than a little disorienting and frequently mixed with something sweet."-The Globe & Mail What has to die before you force yourself to change? That's the question facing the always quirky and often-queer characters of Canary. From the communal showers of a hot yoga studio to seedy pubs on Vancouver's East Side, from Catholic merchandise salesmen to hitchhiking teenage lesbians, the people and places of Nancy Jo Cullen's debut are asphyxiating slowly on ordinary life. Yet in this joint-smoking urban underground, we also glimpse the families, communities, friends and strangers from whom unexpected kindness comes as a breath of fresh air. Trashy but poignant, comic and profound, Canary hangs luminous above the coal-heap of fiction debuts-and proves Nancy Jo Cullen a writer of astonishing depths. "Cullen's prose is volcanic even when she's describing the most domestic situations possible-the language is full of subterranean rumbles that simultaneously disturb and delight. The writing is always surprising, always bright, even in the most somber moments. Moving and funny, these stories will break your heart in the very best way."-Suzette Mayr "Nancy Jo Cullen mines humanity's beautiful fault-lines. There is not one lousy story in this bunch, but there are plenty of lousy people, all of them gleaming with the shimmer of real. Cullen knows just where to find the funny in tragedy, and how to make words feel like life."-Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer Nancy Jo Cullen is the 4th recipient of the Writers' Trust Dayne Ogilvie Award for an Emerging Gay Writer. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph Humber. Her fiction has appeared in The Puritan, Grain, filling Station, Plenitude and Prairie Fire. Her short story "Ashes" was selected for the Journey Prize Anthology in 2012. Cullen is also the author of three critically acclaimed collections of poetry with Frontenac House Press. Her first collection, Science Fiction Saint, was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award, the Writers Guild of Alberta's Stephan G. Stephansson Award and the Alberta Publishers Trade Book Award. Her second collection Pearl was shortlisted for the W.O. Mitchell Calgary Book Prize and won the Alberta Publishers Trade Book Award. A transplanted westerner, Cullen lives in Toronto with her partner and children. She is at work on a novel and a fourth collection of poetry.