And Other Stories from the Edge of Normal

Author: Jenn Ashton

On the edge of normal, challenges take many forms—the everday can be an adventure and the ordinary a triumph.

A young woman in a group home investigates a mysterious piece of knitting.  An obsessed bag boy does grim battle with a squirrel. A woman, an asparagus bag and a garbageman have a tumultuous short-term relationship. Otherwise unremarkable achievements become epic on the edge of normal. 

In the tradition of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Room and If I Fall, If I Die, this uplifting collection explores the world through the eyes of protagonists whose perspectives are informed by their unique circumstances. Some are struggling with physical challenges while others seek to overcome psychological barriers. Far from being defined by their limitations, these characters revel in achievements others take for granted and find wonder in unexpected places. By celebrating the  private triumphs of people who are all too often dismissed, Ashton reminds us all of our own humanity.

  • Fiction
  • ISBN 978-1-7770101-6-4 (paperback)
  • ISBN 978-1-7770101-7-1 (ebook)
  • 5.5″ x 8.5″
  • Publication date: October 2020
  • Paperback: CA $19.95  / US $15.95
  • Ebook: CA $3.95 / US $2.95

Jenn Ashton crafts a fierce, delicate collection that honours people facing physical, psychological or social barriers. in many of her stories, Ashton achieves an unusual blend of dark material with delicate, quiet language. Imagine Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights done in watercolours, without losing any of its searing impact. Highly recommended. Read the full review.

Tom Sandborn, Vancouver Sun

In this superb collection of haunting and darkly humorous stories, Jenn Ashton casts a compassionate eye over the banal and deftly plucks out the extraordinary.

Carleigh Baker, Author of Bad Endings, Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize Nominee

An appreciation for perseverance runs through the collection, and the reader has the sense that the characters value their own lives, no matter how insignificant or unimportant they may seem to others. There is a wakefulness to small experience, a curiosity, a delight. There are gratitude and a celebration of effort. I particularly loved the inclusion of Ashton’s drawings which are whimsical, poignant and funny. Read the  full review.

Valerie Mills-Milde, The Miramichi Reader