Suzette Mayr


Suzette Mayr is the author of four novels including her most recent book Monoceros, which won the ReLit Award and the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize, was longlisted for the 2011 Giller Prize, and nominated for a Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction and the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction. Monoceros was also included on The Globe and Mail’s 100 Best Books of 2011. Her novels have also been nominated for the regional Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Henry Kreisel Award for Best First Book. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks: Zebra Talk; If, Adultery; and Tale (with Geoff Hunter). She has done inter-disciplinary work with Calgary theatre company Theatre Junction, visual artists Lisa Brawn and Geoff Hunter, and she was a writer-in-residence at the University of Calgary and at Widener University, Pennsylvania. She is a former President of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta and teaches Creative Writing at the University of Calgary. She is of Bahamian and German descent, and currently lives in a 1950s Calgary bungalow with her partner, two cats, one dog, and many, many spiders.

  • Monoceros (Coach House Books, Spring 2011)

Monoceros is a tragicomic novel about the after-effects of the suicide of a 17-year-old boy named Patrick Furey. Even though he was an introvert in life, Patrick reaches out far in death, impacting the lives of people who knew and loved him but also those who never knew him and who are still unwittingly brushed by the tragedy of his final choice. A story about love, death, unicorns, and Wonder Woman drag queens, Monoceros is a study of grief and unexpected joy.

  • Venous Hum (Arsenal Pulp Press 2004)

Brash, clever, and monstrously funny, Venous Hum charts the lives of Lai Fun Kugelheim and Stefanja Dumanowski, best friends who, upon hearing the news of an old high school acquaintance’s death, are gripped by an insatiable nostalgia and organize a twenty-year reunion. What initially seemed like a simple task becomes increasingly complicated for Lai Fun, but the past is nothing compared to her messy present: her marriage to a successful businesswoman is crumbling, she’s having an affair with a man (who happens to be Stefanja’s husband), and her oddly supernatural mother—an immigrant vegetarian with an unusual appetite—only wants her daughter to be happy. But in the wake of such chaos, the only constant is the hum of the blood coursing through her veins.

A satire on race, gender, sexuality, and vegetarianism, this is a magic-realist novel that will throw your assumptions of the world and the people who inhabit it out the window.

  • The Widows (NeWest Press 1998)

Hannelore, Clotilde, and Frau Schnadelhuber are three old women tired of living in a world that does not allow old women to be seen or heard. On a whim, the three women plot to go over Niagara Falls in a bright orange space-age barrel. With the assistance of Cleopatra Maria, the 26-year-old genius granddaughter of Hannelore and grandniece of Clotilde, the four women steal the barrel from a travelling show and drive it across Canada determined to prove their worth to a world devoted to youth.

  • Moon Honey (NeWest Press 1995)

In this modern, magical tale, Carmen and Griffin, young and white, are goofy, head-over-heels in love. When Carmen turns into a black woman, Griffin thrills at a love turned exotic. But Carmen’s transformation means trouble for Griffin’s racist mother, already struggling with a new lover and a husband nicknamed God. The question is, can love be relied on to save the day? Moon Honey is an inventive, funny, sexy tale of love affairs and magical transformations.

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