Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Canadian Author Richard Cumyn Publishes New Collection of Short Fiction

In 1991, former researcher for Canadian prime minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, uranium prospector, short-order cook and able seaman Richard Cumyn decided to take up writing full time. What was undoubtedly a loss to his other professions became a boon to Canadian literature: Cumyn's critically acclaimed fiction has been nominated for the Journey Prize and the ReLit Award, his nonfiction shortlisted for a National Magazine Award.

“He is one of our finest story writers,” says author Steven Heighton, “exacting, surprising, deftly attuned both to language and to character, tough-minded and large-hearted at the same time—often within the same sentence.”

Cumyn's latest collection of short fiction, The Young in Their Country (Enfield & Wizenty, 2010), was a finalist for the inaugural Colophon prize. Besides being a prolific producer of short fiction, Cumyn is also the author of an elegant jewel of a novella, The View from Tamischeira, the story of a turn-of-the-twentieth-century quest in the Caucasus Mountains, "fabled land of Argonauts, Amazons, and Cossacks." Click here to read an interview with Cumyn, in which he discusses the origins of his novella, and his own origins as a writer.

Follow this link to view Cumyn's favourite rejection letter.


Listen to an excerpt from Rattling Books' audio version of Richard Cumyn's short story "My Future in Insurance," read by Charlie Tomlinson. This story is available as a single MP3 download, and it's also featured on EarLit Shorts 3 (MP3 CD).