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Biblioasis Spring 2022

By (author): Alex Pugsley
Alex Pugsley





Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
May 17, 2022
$22.95 CAD


8.25in x 5.25 x 0.5 in | 260 gr

Page Count:

224 pages
FICTION / Literary
Fiction: general and literary|Narrative theme: Coming of age|Short stories

In ten vividly told stories, Shimmer follows characters through relationships, within social norms, and across boundaries of all kinds as they shimmer into and out of each other’s lives.

Outside a 7-Eleven, teen boys Veeper and Wendell try to decide what to do with their night, though the thought of the rest of their lives doesn’t seem to have occurred to them. In Laurel Canyon, two movie stars try to decide if the affair they’re having might mean they like each other. When Byron, trying to figure out the chords of a song he likes, posts a question on a guitar website, he ends up meeting Jessica as well, a woman with her own difficult music. And when the snide and sharp-tongued Twyla agrees to try therapy, not even she would have imagined the results.

Key selling points

  • As in his debut novel Aubrey McKee, in Shimmer Pugsley writes teenagers convincingly and with affection, and is keen to nuances of regionalism and jargon.
  • Editorial comps and influences include Junot Diaz’s Drown, in verisimilitude and exploration of wayward youth and drug culture; Nine Stories (the disillusionment of high society, here represented by film culture); Dubliners (multiple POVs)
  • Genre interests: Voice- and dialogue-driven, more vignette than narrative. Primarily monologues or objective third covering a range of voices and temporal and geographic settings, returning throughout to disaffected youth in unspecified suburban settings
  • A filmmaker, Pugsley’s cinematic eye translates to image-driven prose and crisp dialogue, and the stories collected here are intended to be performed.

Alex Pugsley is a writer and filmmaker originally from Nova Scotia. His fiction has appeared in Brick, The Walrus, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Best Canadian Stories, among other publications. His debut novel, Aubrey McKee, was published by Biblioasis in 2020. He lives in Toronto.


  • Print run
  • Co-op available
  • Advance reader copies
  • North American TV & radio campaign
  • National print campaign
  • Online and social media campaign. Giveaways through Edelweiss, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram.
  • E-book available same date as print edition, e-book ISBN included on press materials and websites and promoted via social media
  • Excerpts in Lit Hub, Electric Lit

  • For more information contact
    [email protected]

    Praise for Shimmer

    "Looking at Shimmer as a whole, one is struck by Pugsley’s mastery of the short-story form, his ability to distil entire lives’ worth of meaning into a few short pages. He’s not just a writer to watch: he’s a writer to savour."—Robert Wiersema, Toronto Star

    "His greatest gift as a writer is, I believe, his ability to carry dialogue ... a brave departure from the highly-praised Aubrey McKee."—Miramichi Reader

    "Pugsley brings out the confusion of life well. No one is in control. Everyone has doubts about themselves and others. His ability to show the twists and turns of our constant, anxious questioning of ourselves makes each story revelatory in a different way. A truly impressive collection!"Ottawa Review of Books

    "[Pugsley's] story proves that the digital mode of communication, while frequently castigated as impersonal and dehumanizing, can, in the right hands, carry with it strong emotional resonance."—Steven Beattie, That Shakespearean Rag

    Praise for Aubrey McKee

    Aubrey McKee is no austere, white-walled art gallery of a novel. It’s abundant, highly decorated, and unafraid of extravagance, of stylistic excess ... From ordinary incidents — a childhood acquaintance, marital strife, a wedding — as well as a few extraordinary ones, Aubrey McKee builds a dazzling and complicated world, a childhood in Halifax as a vibrant universe in itself. While Pugsley’s literary performance is an immediate delight, the portrait of the early days of a 'wayward oddity' lingers long after.”—Toronto Star

    “Evoking comparisons in both style and substance to the work of John Irving and Robertson Davies in its assemblage of perceptive, richly detailed character studies ... The life of a Canadian city is revealed with verve and insight.”—Kirkus

    “Although many peoples’ stories comprise the whole of Aubrey McKee, the city of Halifax is also a feature character ... the reverence Pugsley provides about Halifax will resonate with anyone thinking about their own hometown, no matter its size or location ... The richly defined personalities in Aubrey McKee are void of pretense or judgment and are, at once, knowable. Like a favourite song, it’s the hook that makes the adventures of Aubrey McKee and those he cares about so memorable.”—Winnipeg Free Press

    "Pugsley, equal parts poet and meticulous historian of his own private Halifax, has accomplished, with “Aubrey McKee,” a work of high literary art, remaking and claiming the city as his own once again in a sustained performance that pulses with that deep, radical love."—John Delacourt, The Ottawa Review of Books

    “The mesmerizing, kaleidoscopic Halifax depicted in Aubrey McKee is as enchanted as it is benighted, an adolescent fever-dream. This is a rollicking, strange and unforgettable coming of age novel unlike anything you've ever read.”—Lynn Coady, Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author of Hellgoing

    “His prose style is among the finest anywhere: humorous, economical, deft without sacrificing accessibility, capable of laying bare the complicated depths, the tenderness, and the strangeness of personal relationships.”—Roo Borson, Griffin Poetry Prize-winning author of Short Journey Upriver Toward Oishida

    “Alex Pugsley’s novel, Aubrey McKee, is a whip-smart portrait of the artist at the end of the twentieth century. Funny and wildly intelligent, it captures a somewhat tragic cohort of young, ambitious Haligonians trying to become themselves, all seen through the eyes of the narrator, a young man of incomplete wisdom. In quicksilver prose, Pugsley shows us a whole generation, some of whom are lost, some found, but all viewed with a profound, comic humanity.”—Michael Redhill, Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author of Bellevue Square

    “A wonderful book, it absolutely floored me. It's been a very long time since I've read anything like it ... I found Aubrey McKee to be more reminiscent of Dubliners by James Joyce, not only because the sense of place is so strong, but because the narrative in this book is told through interconnected stories.”—Bookin’

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    Also Available

    Aubrey McKee Alex Pugsley 9781771963114 $22.95 CAD Jun 23, 2020

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