Seven Openings of the Head
Shortlisted for: the ReLit Award, Danuta Gleed Literary Award,
Quebec Writer’s Federation First Book Award
Seven Openings of the Head is a collection of stories set primarily in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. Amid a landscape of train tracks, rural roads and lakes, men and women wrestle with the subtleties of emotional entanglement and isolation. Wryly funny and richly empathetic, these stories explore the murky terrain of both familial and romantic love.
“Keightley’s choices as a storyteller are uniquely hers: shrewd, risky, quirky but never gratuitous, and often quietly revelatory…. Sharp close-ups abound: greasy hair stuck to a forehead, a squirting soap dispenser, plaster dust on sweaty skin, needlepoint orchids that “look like wasps.” And smells: fried onions, butterscotch Life Savers, corn stalks on a hot August night. These and other sensory triggers are carefully chosen, funnelling meaning from the events around them…. Keightley’s vision is inspired and entirely fresh. She may be too ineffably odd to score with word-weary prize juries just hoping for the brilliantly recognizable — but I hope I’m wrong.” — The Globe and Mail