“What this town has done, it’s like pickling people. Taking us when we’re young and fresh and vulnerable, sticking us in a jar and filling us with all these rules they hope will preserve us from the rotting decay of worldliness. But you can’t brine someone in that much guilt and shame their whole lives and expect them not to change. Shrivel into mere husks of their former selves, sour as vinegar.”
Twenty-seven-year-old Isaac Funk is broke, drifting, and questioning his lonely existence on the East Coast. Having left his conservative hometown of Newfield, Manitoba full of piss and vinegar, Isaac’s dreams of studying music and embracing queer culture in Halifax have gradually fizzled out. When his grandfather dies and leaves him a substantial inheritance, Isaac is pulled back to the Prairies for the first time in ten years. Finding his father Abe just as enigmatic and unreachable as always and his extended family more fragmented than ever, Isaac begins to wonder if there will ever be a place for him in Newfield. Is the prodigal son home for good, or is it time to cut and run once more?
Advance Praise for Wonder World
“Wonder World is an amazing book that made me smile, laugh, cry and everything in between. Isaac Funk is one hell of a narrator! K.R. Byggdin wrote a beautiful book that explores the complex relationship between queer identity and conservative beliefs. This book is the reconciliation that we all need in our lives.” –Hasan Namir, author of God in Pink
“Treat yourself! Read Wonder World and meet Isaac Funk, a wise-cracking, queer anti-hero who returns to his small-town roots to face the family that drove him out of town 10 years earlier. Miriam Toews meets J.D. Salinger in this poignant and sassy coming-of-age novel.” –Jacqueline Dumas, author of The Heart Begins Here
“Like many of my favourite literary works grappling with big human topics like grief and belonging, K.R. Byggdin’s Wonder World is a laugh-riot punctuated with gut-punches. Isaac Funk joins the canon of prodigal queers returning to the hometowns they never
imagined they could ever fit in, only here he discovers things he wasn’t previously equipped to see. The queer possibilities this book breathes into the prairies is welcome as a hard rain after a dry season.” –John Elizabeth Stintzi, author of Vanishing Monuments and My Volcano
Remarkable in its use of detail, Wonder World expands the familiar terrain of the ‘angsty Mennonite novel’ in beautiful and compelling ways. –Andrew Unger, founder of The Daily Bonnet and author of Once Removed