Will is Shane Neilson’s debut collection of short fiction.
The book ranges from straightforward East Coast depictions of alcoholism and frustrated farming told in dense, lyric prose, to experimental works that play overtly
with language and form. In Will, a boy is beaten by his father; another father cares for his epileptic son; an anesthetist addicted to sevoflurane ponders the works of Michael Jackson; Vladimir Nabokov takes a writer-in-residence position at Memorial University of Newfoundland; and World War I poet John McCrae dies. And yes, there is a hockey story.
Individual stories have appeared widely in magazines including Queen’s Quarterly, The Malahat Review, Fiddlehead, Geist, and The Canadian Medical Association Journal, among others.
“Shane Neilson’s Will is bookish, brilliant, and bawdy. Stories of youth and adulthood, births and deaths, work and sport, home and hospital – made meaningful through thoughtful, intense, dramatic and soberly funny writing. There are cold hard truths here, facts about being a child and being an adult, facts of work and reflection, that are impossible to refute. What more could we want? Read this book.” — Michael Winter
“powerful and incisive … Neilson’s style is dazzling” — Winnipeg Free Press
“humourous and foul-mouthed and tender and uncertain and real . . . its characters stay with you, their vulnerabilities exposing your own, long after the book is finished.”— The Bookshelf
“A certain urgency and ferocity of emotion animate all of Shane Neilson’s work—poetry, fiction, memoir, and criticism—and these stories are no exception. What is new here is the range of the material, from a devastating account of a child’s grand mal seizure to a brilliant dystopic video-game fantasy.” — Steven Heighton
“A terrific collection that, I’m sure, will reward future readings.” — Brian Palmu
“The stories in Will are persuasive evidence that Shane Neilson pays the kind of attention that makes for effective
medicine. His potent fiction certainly makes for essential reading.” — Fiction as Rx, Richard Cumyn