$14.95 CAD

Western Taxidermy

Barb Howard 978-1-927063-11-8 | 212 Pages March, 2012 Ebook, Humour, Short Fiction

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About this book

When Deirdre invited me to the baby shower I just thawed the gopher in the microwave, turned it inside out, scraped it clean, and stuffed it the old-fashioned way, with cotton batting. Then I posed it to stand on its back legs, the cute way gophers do sometimes when they stand near their homes. I finished up the details—nails, nose, eyes, teeth—to give it a cute, inquisitive look. Sure, it was no Robert Bateman, but it was pretty good given my time constraints.

A taxidermist presents a stuffed gopher to a new mother at her baby shower; a trip to a cheesy roadside tourist trap exposes the flaws in a young couple's relationship; and a woman finds herself attracted, against all her natural instincts, to the slovenly proprietor of a drive-thru hamburger joint.

Tender, satirical, and occasionally absurd, Barb Howard's new story collection Western Taxidermy is a perfect introduction to one of Western Canada's most high-spirited literary voices.


"Smart, funny, disturbing and sad, these stories will raise the hackles of your imagination."

~ Marina Endicott, author of Good to a Fault and The Little Shadows

"Barb Howard's seemingly straightforward collection of people and dogs, wounded deer and stuffed gophers, are anything but. She's a master of the sublime, the understated, and the subtle. Howard can pause your heart, engage your mind, and make you laugh out loud. Don't be fooled."

~ Lee Kvern, author of The Matter of Sylvie

"In Western Taxidermy, Barb Howard serves up stories of comedy and tragedy in unflinching detail, underscored with bang-on observations and razor-sharp wit, all presented in spare, evocative language."

~ Lori Hahnel, author of Nothing Sacred

"Bizarre, disturbing, sad, hilarious and haunting. Howard's stories stir the reader's imagination."

~ The Prairie Journal

"Not only would I recommend reading it, I would recommend re-reading it not long after."

~ Herizons

"Western Taxidermy is an undeniably funny book—laugh out loud funny—as a result of keen observations, honesty, and dry humour on the part of serious characters."

~ Pearl Luke, author of Madame Zee

"Grab it for a satisfying, thoughtful tease on your palate before we tumble headlong into snow season." full review

~ Bess Lovec, Billings Gazette

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