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“Condolence” in The New Quarterly

Copy of issue 166 of The New Quarterly against a brown wooden surface. The cover consists of a black and white photo of the shadow of a person checking their phone in an undisclosed outdoor location. The photo appears below the following text against a blue background: "The New Quarterly / Canadian Writers & Writing / 166 / WHAT IS UNSAID: in which we search for the good in bad parenting, find connection at the expense of a barn owl, take a bus trip to learn the truth, watch the apocalypse from a condo / + shortlisted stories from our Peter Hinchliffe Fiction Contest / + new essays from Andrew Westoll and Susan Glickman / + new fiction from Emma Hooper."

He considered himself agnostic, which in his case meant he had zero interest in religion and figured that the realities of the afterlife should remain a fun surprise. Even so, he listened respectfully to the eulogy, opened his heart to the family tributes, went along with the kneeling and the sitting and the standing and the crossing, and responded to every part of the liturgy automatically in spite of the fact that he hadn’t set foot inside a church in years.

One of the highlights last week involved receiving a copy of the spring 2023 issue of The New Quarterly, which includes my short story “Condolence.”

This story, about two friends who carpool to the funeral for the father of their shared ex, has lived in my imagination for quite a number of years, so it’s quite a treat to see it in print, especially in the pages of a prestigious journal that is published here in Kitchener-Waterloo and that I’m so proud to be part of.

This issue will be out in stores soon and can be also be purchased from the journal’s website. For updates about this short story and about the rest of my work, please subscribe to my blog (which simply means you receive future blog posts over email) and follow me on Facebook and on Instagram!

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  1. Andrea McKenzie

    Congratulations, Ben, and I’m looking forward to reading your story! What great news!

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