Loli: Short Story and Canadian Writer Willis Essay

Submitted By klauplunk
Words: 350
Pages: 2

The well-made, mostly downbeat stories in Canadian writer Willis’s debut collection feature characters with an intimate understanding of loss—loss past, loss present, even the losses to come.

In the title story, a daughter struggles to come to grips with the disappearance of her father, a writer—but the detective work here is to plumb the ultimately unsolvable mysteries of mind and motive. “Escape” features a formerly stolid and reliable doctor who, after his wife’s untimely death, first takes up nocturnal trips to the CASINO and then a not-quite-innocent-but-not-quite-sinister obsession with a female blackjack dealer who was once a sleight-of-hand artist. “Caught” recounts a dalliance between a female ichthyologist and one of her undergraduate students. Willis tells the story in the subjunctive mood, speculating, switching perspectives, blurring details: “There’s more than one way it could go,” she begins.
Deborah Willis is a Canadian short story writer.

Daughter of Pauline and Gary Willis, she was born in Calgary, Alberta in 1982 and lived there until leaving to study at the University of Victoria. Her fiction has appeared in Grain, Event, PRISM international, and The Walrus. Her first book, Vanishing and Other Stories (2009), published by Penguin, was named one of the Globe and Mail's Best Books of 2009, and was nominated for the BC Book Prize, the Danuta Gleed Literary Award, the Victoria Butler Book Prize and the Governor General's Award. It was published in the