This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture

January-February 2017

REVIEW: Collection of short stories examines the way death changes our lives

Date with Destiny's stories evoke sadness, sympathy, hilarity, and even awkward discomfort

Samantha Sobolewski

41tqer9szbL._SY346_Date with Destiny
By Hélène Rioux, translated by Jonathan Kaplansky
Guernica Editions, $20

Ten grisly but rich descriptive short stories, Date With Destiny by Hélène Rioux glimpses at the many ways death affects our lives at any given age. From a mother with a suicidal son, to an overzealous funeral sales telemarketer, each character experiences death with a semblance of normalcy through Rioux’s colourful prose. Translated from French by frequent collaborator Jonathan Kaplansky, each story evokes a wide variety of emotion, from sadness and sympathy, to hilarity and awkward discomfort. Chapters also feature thought-provoking quotes by poets, playwrights, and even rock star Jim Morrison—each a nod to the overall themes of the collection.

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