Herein, fragments of Contrivances.

"Follows a tradition of urbane portraiture along the lines of Henry James and filmmakers like Whit Stillman and Max Ophüls even as it speaks its own, meticulous cadence." – The Toronto Review of Books

"Incredibly evocative and strange." – Maisonneuve

This debut collection of stories—featuring a talk-show host and her talking hand, a women’s activity group that writes to prisoners, and a poncho-making nudist—is as unique as it is compelling. Set in their own melodramatic worlds, the stories take inspiration from Old Hollywood, Gothic novels, art-world gossip, and maybe a Lifetime movie or two.

Beautifully illustrated throughout by artists such as Janet Werner and Marcel Dzama, Contrivances proves that tragedy is comedy when you play with it long enough.

David Balzer has written about art and film for The Globe and Mail, The Believer, Modern Painters, and others. Contrivances is his first book; he is currently working on a novel

Contrivances is a Joyland/ECW Press e-book. Get it here (ePUB, for Kobo and iPad) and here (mobi, for Kindle) and here (plain ol’ PDF).

Read “The Poncho,” a story from Contrivances, here.

Read and listen to interviews with the author herehere, here, here and here.

Check out footage from the eccentric launch party here.