Book details

Publication date: September 2017
Series: Robert Kroetsch Series
Keywords: Canadian Literature / Short Stories
Subject(s): FICTION / Short Stories (single author), Creative Writing, Creative Writing / Short Fiction, Canadian Literature / Short Stories, Philosophy, Modernist Studies, Canadian Literature / Short Stories, Short Stories, Canadian Literature, Fiction
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press

Myrl Coulter. Myrl Coulter is the author of two award-winning books: A Year of Days (UAP) and The House With the Broken Two (Anvil Press). She lives in Edmonton.

[T]he vividness of Coulter’s hard-luck characters and their situations commands attention. For the second half, Coulter changes tracks with two longer stories that experiment with tone, structure, and perspective. “The Smart Sisters” is a rollicking depiction of three struggling sisters.... “Limbo,” narrated by a “reluctant haunter” divided into six captivating tales that recount the decades after his death for those close to him. Gentle, comic, and uplifting, the story’s craft perfectly complements its humanity and skillfully closes this promising collection." [Full review at]

Publishers Weekly

# 1 on Edmonton Fiction Bestsellers list, September 24, 2017

“… this collection reads a bit like a mystery novel with subtle connections between characters and stories…told intriguingly and effectively…”

Breanna Mroczek, Avenue Magazine

The way Coulter uses the short story medium to loosely tie the collection together adds an enthralling quality... Coulter wanted to showcase that the things which tear us apart — depression, anger, death, suicide — are seldom talked about, or even written about... The Left-Handed Dinner Party ends on a note of fleeting happiness that alludes to a place of resolution." [Full article at]

Enrique Marroquin, The Gateway

"What interests Coulter is families, and the endlessly paradoxical combinations of love and resentment, security and entrapment, which families offer. Some of the stories are connected by their characters, and the novella, “Limbo,” consists of a series of stories about the same family. Alcoholism, adultery, abuse, parental abandonment, trips into an uncertain future, suicide, secrecy, car crashes, sibling alienation—these are the stock-in-trade of Coulter’s families." [Full review at]

Paul Denham, Canadian Literature 236

1 Grad School
2 The Remedy
3 The Left-Handed Dinner Party
4 The Scream
5 Uncanny
6 Estate Planning
7 The Ballad of Jake and Janet
8 Big Luck Island
9 The Smart Sisters
10 Limbo
-Jean’s Slice
-Orphan Sister
-The Viewfinder
-The Dead List
-The Beer Tent

ISBNs: 9781772123289 978-1-77212-328-9 Title: the left-handed dinner party and other stories