Prerequisites for Sleep

Prerequisites for Sleep

Fiction

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About the book

Prerequisites for Sleep is a fictional world rich with dilemmas. From the young unwed mother paying the price for both her own mistakes as well as her family’s, to the woman whose unexpected late-in-life pregnancy wreaks havoc on her relationship with her teenaged daughter, to the man who finds a mysterious woman taking over his kitchen and his life, to the elderly woman trying to balance dignity with aggression management in her relationship with her Alzheimer-stricken husband, all the characters in the thirteen stories of this collection must make decisions and compromises that invite insomnia. Although most of these characters are firmly rooted in Stone's Maritime landscape, their challenges are universal. They are people we recognize. They step off the page alive as family, friends, and neighbours.

About the author

Stone, Jennifer L.

Jennifer L. Stone left Nova Scotia for Toronto in 1981. It wasn’t until she returned, seventeen years later and saw her home province as an outsider that she was inspired to begin writing.

Her fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals including: The Fiddlehead, The Antigonish Review, Grain, Other Voices, FreeFall, carte blanche, All Rights Reserved, The Wascana Review, Qwerty and Riddle Fence. Her short story “Prerequisites for Sleep” was selected by Nelson Education Ltd. to appear in Canadian Content, 7th Edition. In 2010, she was awarded first prize in Grain’s 22nd Annual Short Story Contest.

A graduate of Ryerson, York University and The Humber School of Writers, she has worked as a designer of advertising inflatables, a software instructor, and currently earns a living as a graphic designer.

Excerpt

from Thomas And The Woman

Thomas woke up on a Tuesday morning to find a woman in his house. She was standing at the counter in his narrow kitchen with a spatula in her hand, flipping pancakes in his electric frying pan. He nearly bumped into her, not being fully awake and, of course, not expecting a person, let alone a woman, to be blocking his path to the coffee maker. He couldn’t entirely recall the previous evening to provide an explanation for her presence. His memory only offered vague glimpses of a barbeque with a horseshoe pit and chests of beer on ice.

She gestured towards his table, squished against the wall at the far end, where there was a place set with a fork and a knife and a mug of coffee and a glass of orange juice.

Easing around her, he sat in his chair and picked up the glass of juice and downed it in two gulps while she placed a plate in front of him stacked with several pancakes that appeared to have had thin wedges of apples pressed into them before they were flipped. He ate, the way hungry men do, concentrating solely on the food and the travels of the fork from his lips to the plate. Afterwards, eyeing the woman over the rim of his coffee mug, he decided that it was good. It being the food and the preparation of the food and the woman standing in his kitchen.

Reviews

Prerequisites for Sleep is the first short-story collection from Nova Scotian Jennifer L. Stone, who only started writing when she returned home after a long time spent in Toronto.

Time away clearly proved beneficial to this exciting… >>

— Rory Runnells Winnipeg Free Press

Jennifer L. Stone’s first short story collection, Prerequisites for Sleep, is steeped in memory. Perhaps this is what sleep sometimes requires, letting one’s mind linger over certain details of the past, key moments strung together progressing toward making sense of… >>

— Chris Benjamin Atlantic Books Today


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