The Reverse Cowgirl

by David Whitton

October 2011
6 x 9 paper 200 pages
CDN $21.95 | US $21.95

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Longlisted for the 2012 ReLit Award for Short Fiction

Keen, intense, and darkly comic, the short stories of David Whitton are full of misfits, oddballs, dropouts, klutzes, and loners. You might dress em up, but it’s just a matter of moments till they unravel back into their fallen, and fascinating, selves. Their mistakes and misdeeds, temptations and transgressions thread their way through these stories, stirring up surprises on every corner.

Whitton navigates current life and future worlds, dirty truths and murky fantasies, continually setting up, if only to send up, modern romantic scenarios. In the end, whether the lovers meet online or on acid, at a wedding or in battle, the object of ardour might be in for a rough ride. Maybe they’ll stay afloat—tremulous and tentative—or plunge to earth in delightful and refreshing ways.

“The Reverse Cowgirl is both hilarious and horrifying, as startling and poetic as a gargoyle dropped on one’s head, a corpse with a plastic flower instead of a face. Whitton writes the way a master painter paints—just a few well-placed strokes of his brush and he reveals worlds of vast and mesmerizing complexity. The characters in these stories are all at a loss in some way, and with his frightening talent Whitton makes readers care deeply for them, even while ashamedly laughing at them. He is marvelous in his ability to show the comic in the tragic, and he constantly forced me to question my own ethics, my own place in the world. A truly gifted writer and a truly kick-ass short story collection.” —Suzette Mayr 

“The real treats in Darwin’s Bastards come from some less familiar names. Stories by Buffy Cram, Oliver Kellhammer, and David Whitton stand out at entertaining and provocative speculations on class, the environment, and corporate imperialism.”—The Toronto Star (David Whitton’s “Twilight of the Gods,” originally published in Darwin’s Bastards, appears in The Reverse Cowgirl

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