The Outer Harbour

The Outer Harbour

Stories

Book - 2014
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City of Vancouver Book Award Winner

In his debut story collection, poet Wayde Compton explores the concept of place and identity in which characters and space merge to make narrative. These interconnected stories, imbued with the colour of speculative fiction, are towering in their conceits. As much as characters are revealed by what they do and say, in The Outer Harbour , places also speak, in the way that they shape us.

One strand of stories follows the relationship between an artist obsessed with shipping containers and a drug-addicted student, each of mixed-race, who seek in art a response to unclear identities. Another set of stories follows the geological development of a volcanic island in Burrard Inlet―Vancouver's harbour―which becomes the site of a radical Indigenous occupation, and later, in increasingly absurd shadings, a real estate development, and then a detention centre for illegal migrants. And a final suite tells the story of Donald and Albert, biracial conjoined twins, and their father, an eccentric figure whose enigmatic expression divides them.

Moving from 2001 through to 2025, The Outer Harbour is at once a history book and a cautionary tale of the future. Collectively, these stories condense and confound our preconceived ideas around race, migration, and home, creating a singular world in a city built on the legacies of racism and colonialism, hurtling towards a future both impossible and inevitable.

Publisher: Vancouver : Arsenal Pulp Press, [2014]
ISBN: 9781551525723
1551525720
Branch Call Number: FIC SS
c823 C738o
Characteristics: 200 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

This epic first story collection, by local poet Wayde Compton, uses Vancouver’s geography to tell intertwined stories of race, migration, and home.

If you like Colour Code: A Podcast about Race in Canada, try Outer Harbour: Stories. In this epic story collection, local poet Wayde Compton uses Vancouver’s geography to tell intertwined stories of race, migration, and home.

This epic first story collection, by local poet Wayde Compton, uses Vancouver’s geography to tell intertwined stories of race, migration, and home. Wayde Compton was VPL's 2011 Writer in Residence.

Compton’s short story collection examines the way space is claimed and allocated in our cities. From neighbourhoods that take on the identify of a particular immigrant group, to spaces where marginalized populations are shifted aside in the name of urban renewal, Compton’s prose will both inform ... Read More »

This epic first story collection, by local poet Wayde Compton, uses Vancouver’s geography to tell intertwined stories of race, migration, and home.


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