The stories in Lands and Forests, set primarily in Ontario, survey the emotional landscapes of people whose lives, though rooted deeply in the land and their small communities, are still rocked by the ripples of great cultural change. Whether they are escaping government-sanctioned flooding, obsessing over camera-equipped drones, violently mourning a lost brother, discovering a new passion in fencing, starting over in the desert, or standing in a lake watching a wildfire consume a whole town, these men and women must navigate the uncertain terrain of loss and renewal.
“Full of quiet tension and a cast of fully-realized characters that feel like they could step off the page, Andrew Forbes’s Lands and Forests shows us what the short story was made to do: delight us, surprise us, and prompt us to more fully recognize ourselves.”—Johanna Skibsrud, author of Tiger, Tiger, Quartet for the End of Time, and the Giller Award-winning The Sentimentalists
“In this superbly stark, brooding collection, disillusioned men and women struggle along, the potential for grandeur in their futures long since faded. And yet there is still awe amid their resignation—for the beauty in the world, and sometimes for each other. With Lands and Forests, Andrew Forbes digs beneath stunning, wild landscapes to find all of the unhappiness buried there, unearthing life’s cruel disappointments and splaying them out on the dirt one by one. These are bleak, sharp, ruthless stories, and I loved them.”