Over at The Toronto Star last week, Emily Donaldson said some kind words about Kathleen Winter's newly released short story collection The Freedom in American Songs.
"What unites these tales is the loneliness and isolation that besets their female characters," writes Donaldson. "Winter’s uniqueness as a writer lies...in her resistance to conventions such as narrative arcs and neat endings."
Donaldson is especially fond of the collection's opening "Marianne Stories," which chronicle the misadventures of a young woman who has moved from the city to a rural Newfoundland fishing village. The complexity and beauty of Marianne as a character is that she "embraces her outsider status knowing it lets her see things others don’t." Yet Marianne also paradoxically yearns to belong, so that, as Donaldson puts it, "the simple achievement of building a fire that burns the same white smoke as her neighbours" becomes a cause for elation.
Donaldson calls the writing here "showstoppingly exquisite."