Toronto author and poet Emily Schultz excels at creating intricate, beautifully drawn worlds, encapsulated like snow globes. Her last novel, Joyland, was set in a 1983 arcade---the lives of two teenagers reflected through the videogames they're obsessed with playing. Heaven is Small takes place at the claustrophobic Heaven Book Company, a Harlequin-style publisher in the suburban sky. Yes, the staff of Heaven Book Co. are all dead, including its latest recruit, proofreader Gordon Small, although no one seems to realize they've met their demise. And no wonder: Schultz's vision of heaven is a bleak 70-storey office tower full of telephone codes, personalized mugs, muffin stands, timesheets and bureaucratic mazes.
Small becomes a minor celebrity when it's revealed his ex-wife is Chloe Gold, a blockbuster novelist. When he decides to contact Gold covertly through another author's book, all hell breaks loose. But this isn't a romance novel inside a romance novel: Schultz is too dark-minded to fall for a Ghost cliche. As it turns out, Heaven is Small is a funny but heartbreaking story about the publishing industry, the disconnect between authors and their readers, and the legions of stories that are written but will remain unread or discarded.
posted by CAROL BRUNEAU, Dec 22/16
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