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Biblioasis Fall 2022

Confessions with Keith
By (author): Pauline Holdstock
Pauline Holdstock





Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
Sep 20, 2022
$22.95 CAD


8.25in x 5.25 x 0.8 in | 300 gr

Page Count:

304 pages
FICTION / Literary

An outrageously comic novel documents a middle-aged writer and mother's grappling with mid-life crisis—her husband's and her own.

Preoccupied with her fledgling literary career, intent on the all-consuming consolations of philosophy, and scrambling to meet the demands of her four children, the acutely myopic and chronically inattentive Vita Glass doesn’t notice that her house and her marriage are competing to see which can fall apart fastest. She can barely find time for her writing career, and just when her newfound success in vegetable erotica is beginning to take off. Our heroine’s only tried and trusted escape is the blissful detachment of Keith's hairdressing salon, but when her husband leaves the country, unannounced, she decides to do likewise—in the opposite direction, and with their children. Drawn from the pages of Vita’s journal, this outrageously comic novel documents Vita's passage through a mid-life crisis and explores all the ways we deceive each other and ourselves.

Key selling points

  • For fans of wry British women: Holdstock cites Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons, Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford, and the work of Beryl Bainbridge as major influences on the novel.
  • Contemporary editorial comps include Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Bridget Jones's Diary, My Year of Rest and Relaxation, A Complicated Kindness, and Ducks, Newburyport. Confessions with Keith is a literary novel with commercial appeal: think Ducks meets Bridget Jones, or the Amy Sedaris approach to adulthood.
  • Critically lauded author: previous novels have been favorably reviewed by TLS and the Times and shortlisted for major Canadian awards, including the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Most recent (Here I Am! 9781771963091) received a rave from Kirkus.

Pauline Holdstock is an award winning novelist, short fiction writer and essayist. Her books have been published in the US, the UK, Australia, Germany, Brazil and Portugal. In Canada, her work has been short-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Commonwealth Writer's Prize, and others, and has won the BC Book Prizes Award for Fiction and the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize. She lives on Vancouver Island.


  • Print run: 5,000 copies
  • Co-op available
  • Advance reader copies
  • Digital review copies
  • National TV & radio campaign
  • National print media campaign
  • Online and social media campaign
  • Excerpts in LitHub, Electric Lit

Praise for Confessions with Keith

"Magnetic ... artfully expressed—funny, honest, wry, intimate—private thoughts ... On page after assured page, Vita’s confounded, thrilled, irked, hurt, and envious—about minutia as well as the big picture—and all of which are facets of what she terms 'the senselessness of human existence.'"
The Vancouver Sun

"Succinct, cheeky prose ... Holdstock’s fast-paced comic novel with its entertaining narrative will captivate readers, especially those who relish domestic tales."
—Winnipeg Free Press

"A deftly crafted and wickedly fun read from cover to cover, Confessions with Keith by novelist Pauline Holdstock is the kind of story that will linger in the mind and memory long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf."
—Midwest Book Review

"With ample wit, Pauline Holdstock perfectly articulates the quiet sacrifice and crushing weight of keeping domestic order in the face of chaos. Confessions with Keith is not only a laugh-out-loud joy to read, but is bursting with incredible insight, and lends much-needed visibility to the inner life of a woman overlooked. A sheer delight of a book."
—Stacey May Fowles, co-editor of Good Mom on Paper

Praise for Pauline Holdstock

“Holdstock writes powerfully in Frankie’s voice, drawing readers into his internal life … absorbing.”
—Quill & Quire

“Pauline Holdstock enchants with a spell of delectable storytelling … the novel’s wonderment and delight in the possibilities of life is an effervescent tonic.”
—Vancouver Sun

“Captivating … An intriguing mystery … The novel finds its way with charming intrigue and humour.”
—Winnipeg Free Press

“Holdstock’s writing moves seamlessly between her research and her polished storytelling of people, landscape and grief. These are familiar preoccupations, but she continues to make them compelling and rich.”
—National Post

“Pauline Holdstock’s language is so powerful, her writing so wrought with emotion and beauty, that you become fully lost in her world.”
—Winnipeg Review

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