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By Steven Heighton

“Heighton has come close to producing what might be considered the perfect book of short stories . . . This is a writer incapable of being facile or shallow, yet one whose work is also funny and fun . . . His short stories instantly surround the reader with an entire world, largely recognizable but more intense.”
-J.C. Sutcliffe, The Literary Review of Canada

“The best stories in this book–the title tale; ‘Shared Room on Union’; and ‘Nearing the Sea, Superior’–are as good as the fiction of Alice Munro and Mavis Gallant. Or, to be more blunt, Heighton is as good a writer as Canada has ever produced . . . It is a testament to his authorial gifts that he not only can write about sex with exquisite delicacy, but that many of the best passages in his stories are about intimacy in the broadest sense . . .At its best, [his] vivid and precise prose manages to achieve the same miracle of incarnate expressiveness found in Joyce and Nabokov, masters whose words are so intensely textured and specific that we feel them pulsing through our body . . . The best stories in this book do what only great art can do: make us more fiercely alive.”
-Jeet Heer, National Post


Heighton_The Dead Are More VisibleAn astoundingly original and tightly curated collection of stories from the award-winning author of Every Lost Country and Afterlands.

It is remarkably easy to accept Al Purdy’s assertion that Steven Heighton–renowned for his craftsmanship, risk-taking, insight and range–“is one of the best writers of his generation, maybe the best.” The Dead Are More Visible highlights his strengths at writing fiction that does not sacrifice humour, depth and emotion for the sake of brevity. These 11 profoundly moving and finely crafted stories encapsulate wildly divergent themes of love and loss, containment and exclusion. In the title story, a parks & rec worker faces an assailant who does not leave the altercation intact. A medical researcher and his claustrophobic fiancée are locked in the trunk of their car after a failed carjacking (the thief can’t drive standard). A young woman enters a pharmaceutical trial in the outer reaches of suburbia and slips between sleeping and waking with increasingly alarming ease. Pairing the cultural acuity of Lost in Translation with the compassion and reach of The World According to Garp, Heighton breathes new life into the short story, a genre that is finally coming into its own.

“…a collection as powerful as the much earlier linked stories of Flight Paths of the Emperor… Heighton can write smart stories without seeming literary, while unafraid of tough stories about very unliterary people. Yes, he can be both intellectual and grunty, often simultaneously. And it’s a delight. This talent might be called a knack, but it could also be called genius… The Dead Are More Visible is a fine collection of fictions, well worth reading.”
The Globe and Mail

“The Dead Are More Visible show[s] Heighton at his best . . . Work of this quality is a real achievement, even if the technique, as it should be, is often invisible.”
-Alex Good, Toronto Star

“Steven Heighton’s third story collection is a wonderfully engaging read . . . [His] characters . . . are appealingly human and compassionately constructed . . . His language, elegant and accessible in syntax and selection, is free from both ostentation and dry simplification.”
Winnipeg Free Press

“The stories in this collection sit well together . . . Heighton lavishes attention on the way language helps frame the world.”
Quill & Quire

“Short stories are the ideal format for Steven Heighton . . . these tiny, distilled gems pack a greater punch.”
Reader’s Digest

“Storytelling at its unassuming best . . . Heighton’s stories are full of telling moments . . . when a lifetime of loneliness and disregard can no longer be ignored.”
-Montreal Gazette

“The Dead Are More Visible offers fine-tuned, imagistic prose featuring provocative plots and characters while exploring complex subjects and themes. One of the best books of the year so far.”
-The Winnipeg Review

The Dead Are More Visible features Heighton at the top of his game. The language here is powerful, not a word misplaced, not a word wasted . . . Throughout the eleven stories, Heighton (and, through Heighton, the reader) inhabits a wide variety of bodies . . . the scope is impressive, particularly since no matter how far Heighton departs from his own experience (in terms of sex, age, geography, sexuality, sobriety, or class), his narrative voice is fully convincing and irresistibly compelling . . . There is a gravitas in this collection reminiscent of J.M. Coetzee . . . [Heighton] is a master at suddenly shifting his readers’ perspective, making them see things anew . . . When I get to the end of a story like ‘Nearing the sea, Superior,’ I believe profoundly and right from my core: fiction matters.”
Fernie Fix

“Heighton has a natural talent for understanding and describing someone’s true nature . . .Even though Heighton fills [his] stories with so much complexity, they always leave you asking more. Those questions keep you thinking about the stories long after you’re done reading them . . . I love books that do that to you.”
-Bookends Reviews, News Talk 610 CKTB

“The writing is wonderfully done . . . I’ll definitely be recommending this collection.”
Canadian Bookworm

“These stories demonstrate Heighton’s considerable narrative skills, confirming the promise shown in his 1992 debut collection, Flight Paths of the Emperor.”
Prairie Fire

“Heighton is indisputably one of Canada’s most important literary talents.”
Kingston Whig-Standard

“Excellent . . . 4.5 out of 5 stars . . . what life and reading are all about.”
By the Book Reviews


Knopf Canada, May 2012


A National Post Best Book of 2012

A Globe and Mail Best Book of 2012

Finalist for the Trillium Book Award

Other Books by Steven Heighton