Love At Last Sight:
Stories by Thea Bowering
review by Mark McCawley
Love At Last Sight
by Thea Bowering
NeWest Press, 280 pp
$9.59 CAN Kindle | $14.36 CAN Paperback
In sinuous folds of cities old and grim,
Where all things, even horror, turn to grace,
I follow, in obedience to my whim,
Strange, feeble, charming creatures round the place.
— Charles Baudelaire, “The Little Old Women”
To the flâneur, his city — though he was born in it, like Baudelaire — is no home. It constitutes for him a stage.
— Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project
Thea Bowering — “How to Read Your Lover’s Favourite Russian Novel” (excerpt) (Empress Ale House, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 12 September 2013)
For those open to contemporary literary experiment will most truly relish Thea Bowering’s debut collection of urban, post-realist short fiction, Love At Last Sight, published by Edmonton’s NeWest Press. In the eight short stories, and one novella, which comprise the collection, Bowering interrogates the fictive nature of reality through literary allusions and through the ongoing allegory of the flâneur —— a concept originally attached to 19th-century Paris, the flâneur is a person of leisure who walks the streets of his or her city, studying the buildings and fellow citizens in the hopes of better understanding them, popularized by Charles Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin.