Only If We're Caught
Thistledown Press, Fall 2021
This sensational debut collection of short stories takes readers on a tour of the astonishment inside the ordinary, the quotidian. Meet the happy wunderkind inside the sad elderly lover, the vulnerable teenager inside the high-powered lawyer, the loving father inside the vampire. Vampire?
In these stories, no narrator is too far-fetched, because every voice is in some way our own. We unravel a mystery with a mortician troubled by the ghosts of his clients, stumble along a gravel road with a too-young pregnant woman searching for a lost girl, watch a feminist falling in love with the office Romeo, are charmed by a robotic humanoid with a penchant for merlot and sedition… Whether the subject is betrayal, disappointment, grief, love or longing, these stories will entertain you with zippy word-craft and sly humour, and seduce you with tenderness. Theressa Slind takes us on an exhilarating ride through the many chambers of the complicated, messed up, resilient human heart.
A stellar collection of stories—funny, poignant, wide-ranging, and wise. Only If We're Caught will catch your heart.
—Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi and The High Mountains of Portugal
Theressa Slind's writing is perceptive, thoughtful, smart, funny and beautiful. In this collection, she finds the extraordinary everywhere—in her language, in the relationships she so beautifully explores, and in the luminous landscape of the everyday.
—Alice Kuipers, author of Life on the Refrigerator Door and Me and Me
Like the "Amygdule" that titles one of Theressa Slind’s stories in this impressive debut collection, Slind’s fiction is vesicular with complexity, pressurized and urgent. These stories, often poignant, often delectably weird, shimmer with elements both supernatural and familiar. In Only If We’re Caught, Slind’s imagination taps into some "physical law as compelling as gravity.”
—Sylvia Legris, author of Nerve Squall and The Hideous Hidden
“Theressa’s collection of short stories, Only If We’re Caught, showcases the writer’s razor-sharp intelligence, sly sense of humour, and ability to create quirky, arresting characters who linger in the mind. Her stories are utterly contemporary narratives, snapshots of the here and now. Theressa Slind is a writer to watch.”
— Guy Vanderhaeghe
“Readers cannot guess which direction Slind’s going to take them in this original short story collection, and that’s a good thing . . . These edgy, slick and diverse short stories feature characters in life-changing moments. Slind is a welcome new voice on the map of Saskatchewan literature.” — Shelley A. Leedahl
SaskBooks Reviews, Dec 8, 2021.
“Deft and shimmering, the stories in Theressa Slind’s Only If We’re Caught slip into a range human and beyond-human perspectives, finding kernels of truth about aging, love, and loss in each of them, and all in a pitch-perfect voice that never wavers. From guilt-ridden vampires and resentful robots to the painful banality of festering
marriages and faltering parents, these stories work together to create a cohesive world that is full of murky corners that need to be explored, whether in the houses of the dead, overlit offices, or in our own hearts and minds. Slind’s flawless language and incisive character construction deliver a series of sucker punches, both emotional and cerebral, that leave the reader short of breath and wanting more."
— 2022 Saskatchewan Book Awards, First Book Award jury.
“Slind brings the collection together with sly, sometimes dark, humour and tenderness in equal measure. The places where normalcy is blurred feel as immediate, intimate, and relevant as the characters the reader might more easily see themselves in. Each story is unique, with twists through the complications of being a human – or at least human-like – that are simultaneously relatable and hard to predict, and endings that are just as likely to leave you squirming as satiated . . . It's an exciting ride through a thrilling first collection.”
— Jessica Key
SubTerrain 90, Spring 2022.