Elaine McCluskey writes about the people you might find in the corners of life. She has published four short-story collections — Rafael Has Pretty Eyes; Hello, Sweetheart; Valery the Great; and The Watermelon Social — and two novels, Going Fast and The Most Heartless Town in Canada. McCluskey’s latest collection Rafael Has Pretty Eyes was released in March 2022 by Goose Lane Editions. Her stories have appeared in anthologies and Canadian literary journals, including Room, The Dalhousie Review, subTerrain, The Antigonish Review, The Fiddlehead, and Other Voices. 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.

Goose Lane will be publishing McCluskey’s newest book, a novel tentatively titled The Gift Child. It is scheduled for release in Fall 2024.


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.”

I am happy that my fourth short-story collection was published by Goose Lane Editions where the talented Bethany Gibson, who edited Going Fast, works her magic. Rafael Has Pretty Eyes takes readers inside a payday loan store, a doomed political roast, and a bar that is just looking for trouble. Described as character driven, this book is peopled by outliers and underdogs, the people I find compelling.