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An Astonishment of Stars


296 pages
Ecw Press

A beautifully written short story collection that charts the lives of racialized women as they navigate their relationships, aspirations, and the burdens of memory and expectations

This collection of finely wrought short stories explores the often invisible lives of racialized women as they walk through their days, navigating mundane microaggressions, trying on ill-fitting roles, and managing emotions they never allow others to see. There is the wife who uses the name of her white husband in public. There is the mother who cleans the small-town hospital while her daughter moves to the city and suppresses their shared past. There is the teen girl who obeys her parents even as she watches her rebellious older sister slip further and further away. Each of these characters is both familiar and singular, reminding us of women we have been, of our mothers and daughters, neighbors and adversaries.

Kirti Bhadresa is a keen observer of humanity, especially of the BIPOC women whose domestic and professional work is the backbone of late-stage capitalism but whose lives receive so little attention in mainstream culture. An Astonishment of Stars is a collection that sees those who are unseen and cuts to the heart of contemporary womanhood, community collisions, and relationships both chosen and forced upon us.

Author Bio

Kirti Bhadresa’s fiction and non-fiction have appeared in The Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire, The Quarantine Review, The Sprawl, and Room, and she has been a finalist for the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association Award in the category of Feature Writing. Bhadresa lives with her family in Calgary, AB, on Treaty 7 territory.