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Short Stories by Thomas Armstrong
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Why Cats Hate Birds
The title of Why Cats Hate Birds very much reflects the collection’s themes. Are we trapped by our nature? And what is our understanding of nature? What is black and white, straight and gay, reality and fantasy, Canadian and Barbadian? The stories in Why Cats Hate Birds are Armstrong’s way of saying that such distinctions are not natural but of our own construction. The work spans the length of Armstrong’s writing career. The earliest, “Flying in God’s Face,” which inspired his novel Of Water and Rock, is set in the 1960s, though the majority take place in a today familiar to us all. Three stories in particular are linked by the character Charles Blackette: “Kingdom of Fools,” “Invention” and “Blood is Thick.” They explore Blackette’s life as a black man who battles his notion of self. But, at heart, all the stories in Why Cats Hate Birds, perceptive, resonant, emotionally honest, are an attempt to break those silos that separate us, and make us realize that other people’s stories are our stories.
Thomas Armstrong grew up in the suburbs of Toronto and earned a degree in Physics from the University of Toronto and later a degree in Computer Science from York University. He worked as a computer programmer and software writer, primarily in the financial services area. He began to write fiction in 2002. In 2009, Of Water and Rock was shortlisted (2nd Place) for the Frank Collymore Literary Award. The novel was published by DC Books in 2010. Later that same year, it won The George Lamming Award for Literary Excellence. Armstrong passed away at the age of 60 in 2013.
Why Cats Hate Birds, Thomas Armstrong, 200 pp., 5.5 x 8.5, Short Stories, April, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-927599-26-6 (paper) . . . $18.95
ISBN: 978-1-927599-27-3 (Bound*) . . . $34.95
* This book is “perfect bound” with an add-on hand bound cover, no dust jacket.
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