Elaine McCluskey writes about the people you might find in the corners of life: boxers, bouncers, and dreamers.  She has published four acclaimed short-story collections — Rafael Has Pretty Eyes; Hello, Sweetheart; Valery the Great; and The Watermelon Social — and three novels, The Gift Child, Going Fast, and The Most Heartless Town in Canada. Rafael Has Pretty Eyes won the 2023 Alistair MacLeod prize for short fiction. Her stories have appeared in over twenty literary journals including Room, The Dalhousie Review, subTerrain, The Antigonish Review, The Fiddlehead, and Other Voices. Plus anthologies. One story was a Journey Prize finalist, another placed second in the Fish international contest in Ireland. McCluskey won the Other Voices short story contest and the Pottersfield Portfolio contest. She lives in Dartmouth, N.S. She has worked as a journalist, a book editor, and a university lecturer. She has a BA from Dalhousie and an MA from Western.

The Gift Child was released on March 19, 2024 by Goose Lane Editions.

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From the Author

My writing has been described as innovative and darkly humorous, and this is perhaps my favorite observation from a reviewer: “She captures the quintessential Canadian ability to mock ourselves and others as a form of social and personal healing.” The Winnipeg Free Press said: “McCluskey is a wickedly funny storyteller at her best, as sharp as she is compassionate.”