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3.53  ·  Rating details ·  96 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Paige Cooper’s short stories catalogue moments in love. These are stories about women who built time machines when they were nine, or who predict cataclysm, or who think their dreams are reality. They include police horses with talons and giant eagles and weredeer. At the center of it all is love. And if love is the problem, what is the solution? Being closer? Or being alo ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published March 1st 2018 by Biblioasis
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3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  96 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
My parents still live in a Soviet suburb halfway between here and the sea: Zolitude, where last year a roof collapsed and killed forty shoppers as they weighed their options for dinner.

Zolitude is a fairly slim volume of fourteen short stories, but still, it takes some time to get through this book. Author Paige Cooper doesn't give anything away for free, and readers are rewarded for their patience: while most of these tales focus on love and relationships (in often surprising ways), they all
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
I don't know how to rate these. When I originally saw this collection publicized I determined it wouldn't be anything I would enjoy. On Monday, Zolitude was longlisted for the Giller Prize. The library had the collection available, so I thought I would give them a try.

As I previously determined, this collection wasn't anything I enjoyed. I felt like I was muddling around in them, confused and found them difficult to get through. When stories started out with sentences like this: I thought the
Jan 20, 2019 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: read-in-2019
DNF at page 89.

These stories are honestly just going right over my head. The first few hooked me with the writing style and the touches of surrealism, but otherwise, I don't get them.
Oct 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018
Finished: 10.10.2018
Genre: short stories
Rating: F
Longlisted Giller Prize 2018
but every story was a struggle.
Here is why.


This is a collection of fourteen short stories about life, loss, sex, loneliness, and other themes. The stories are usually set in some obscure, dystopian, timeless place and sometimes have fantastical elements like time machines or giant mythological birds (although such things are not prominent). The stories are very ambitious and wide-ranging. I found two or three of them to be excellent, but I had no patience with the rest. The writer likes to obscure the usual elements of plot, narrative, a ...more
Orla Hegarty
These stories left me feeling very unsophisticated. I hate when that happens. I just didn't get most (any?) of them and was frankly quite lost during a few. I enjoyed her descriptive style which kept me at it. I kept feeling that each story should have a novel flushed out beyond them.

The cover blurb says all of these stories are connected by the theme of love. Harrumph - I guess I was just too unsophisticated to see this. Perhaps an english literature degree might help me see their brilliance an
Isla McKetta
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Paige Cooper demolishes the prejudicial line between “genre” and “literary” fiction. The stories in Zolitude are dense, rich, and wildly intelligent. This is not a bedtime book (trust me), not only because of the often chilling plotlines, but because you won’t want to miss a single detail of Cooper’s intricately crafted stories lest you discover, too late, that the women you’re reading about have become animals (or that they always were). I spent a long time lingering over the ARC I received fro ...more
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review forthcoming!
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
The stories in Paige Cooper’s surprising and unsettling debut collection are boldly inventive, cryptic, eerie, and challenging. Reading these stories is a bit like watching the approach of a distant object as it comes slowly into focus, or staring at an abstract-impressionist painting and experiencing the revelatory moment when a haphazard arrangement of blobs, splotches and squiggles offers up its meaning. After reading these stories, however, one could be excused for suspecting that the author ...more
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
I'm really not sure what to say about these short stories. Paige Cooper certainly writes some amazingly beautiful and well-crafted sentences, and creates some unique and thought-provoking descriptions. But I must confess that by the end of all but one or two of the stories I didn't have the faintest idea what was going on or what they were about. Was she telling a story, describing a few frames from a longer movie, or merely creating a sensation? Most often, I came to the end of a story with the ...more
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars

My brain is still sizzling from this unerasable reading experience. With each story (which, as advised by the Quill & Quire cover blurb, you might need to take a break after each one), Cooper creates worlds that are simultaneously jarring and seductive, minutely detailed and disturbingly vague. The more unusual or ominous the setting, somehow the more resonant the emotional effects are after the reader recovers from the overt or, even more powerful, the threatened violence.
Dec 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I think this book just isn't my style. Not only because of the short stories - I do prefer a longer narrative - but the style of writing feels thicker and harder to follow than the recent books I have enjoyed.
Nov 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
Did not finish
Peter McCambridge
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Not for me.
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
It just wasn't for me.
Derek Simon
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A weird and diverse set of short stories that kept me thinking long after I’d put the book down.
Ashleigh Minor
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Aug 02, 2018
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Mar 01, 2019
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Aug 12, 2018
Krishna Sookrit
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Jan 19, 2019
Douglas Petkau
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Apr 22, 2018
Maxine CD
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May 01, 2018
Matt Robinson
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Feb 13, 2019
Lisa Ben
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Jan 20, 2019
rated it it was ok
Dec 26, 2018
rated it really liked it
Feb 07, 2019
rated it it was ok
Jan 16, 2019
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Jul 23, 2018
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Dec 02, 2018
Kendra Goertzen
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Oct 12, 2018
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Paige Cooper was born and raised in the Rocky Mountains. Her stories have appeared in The Fiddlehead, West Branch, Michigan Quarterly Review, Gulf Coast Online, Canadian Notes & Queries, The New Quarterly, Minola Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, and have been anthologized in The Journey Prize Stories and Best Canadian Stories. She lives in Montreal.
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