Governor General’s Literary Award Finalist
Winner of the Danuta Gleed Award and a B.C. Book Prize
A Globe and Mail Top 100 Book
An Amazon Best-of-2005 Pick
From the inside flap:
Ladykiller is the debut collection of seven smart stories from an exciting new voice in Canadian literature. In these tales of escape, self-sabotage and the power of unconscious desire, Charlotte Gill crafts outrageous scenes from everyday urban life, transporting us into the minds of characters who succumb to the allure of trouble, who find it infinitely more satisfying to ruin than to create.
These are richly textured worlds, slyly funny and sumptuous with engaging detail. A couple plots against a crying baby in the apartment below as their dysfunctional relationship veers off course. A down-at-the-heels scuba instructor hurls himself down the road to ruination by falling for a modern-day Lolita. Twin sisters on a competitive quest for romance travel to exotic lands as a means of rescuing themselves from their tempestuous bond. A lonely woman reconnects with the son of her father’s mistress and together they begin a strange and tortuous obsession with the past.
Charlotte Gill navigates this complex emotional terrain with gentle satire, empathy and wit. She reveals the paradoxical wisdom of our darkest impulses, how they point like compass needles to our deepest fears. We emerge from these stories, as Gill’s characters do, with the magnificent feeling that we’ve narrowly escaped disaster, breathless, electric, and alive.
“Every story in Ladykiller sings in its own way. Nothing should have been done better in Ladykiller. Charlotte Gill’s voice is on every page, her sure eye for contemporary detail, her originality and unsentimental wit, her ability to deliver us to endings with a sense of having read tellingly about our own world. About ourselves, even. That is Charlotte Gill’s authority. And that’s also why, when finishing Ladykiller, I wished I had something else written by Gill to open immediately. I wanted back in.”
The Globe and Mail
“Gill’s prose is scalpel sharp and peppered with wickedly entertaining humour. Dozens of mordant, hyperbolic figures of speech act like a zesty seasoning sprinkled over the intentionally austere plots . . . Ladykiller lives up to the vigorous praise it has garnered. This is an impressive — I’m tempted to say smashing — start for a talented new voice on the Canadian fiction scene.”
“Perhaps chief among Gill’s numerous, enviable talents is her mix of intensity and brevity. Psychologically and emotionally Gill is both fast and accurate, combining a miniaturist’s capacity for immediate characterization with a mature depth of character. This combination of density and accuracy, along with Gill’s unstoppable wit, compare her to the best young contemporary short story writers.”
“Ladykiller . . . takes Canadian fiction into edgy new territory . . . Gill’s stories smack of intelligence and demand to be noticed . . . her language connects with the reader in a fresh and immediate way. It’s a relief to read prose that’s so steely-sharp. By using superbly wrought language, Gill pulls us in. This is a courageous collection.”