By Eva Crocker
House of Anansi, $19.95
Barrelling Forward, a debut short story collection by emerging Newfoundland writer Eva Crocker, presents compelling tales of the so-called “ordinary” within Canada. Through 14 pieces, readers are acquainted with intensely realistic descriptions of both personhood and setting. The chafing, itching skin of a man is delineated in the short story, “Dealing with Infestation.” And in the title piece, a long voyage through Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Montreal, and a rain storm is brought to life through goldfish crackers and triangular sandwiches. While Toronto’s characteristic diversity is more or less elided during Crocker’s descriptions of the city in “Auditioning,” Barrelling Forward is, overall, an intimate and fascinating read.