The lineup at Starbucks. Ex boyfriends who never quite disappear. Double-wide baby strollers. The spectacle of American politics. Believers. Traffic. Grocery store self checkout machines. People who expect but do not practice inclusion. Passive aggressive food sensitivities. Bottom shaming. The, like, disintegration of the English language. Scapegoating. The cult of conformity. Idiot celebrities. Celebrated idiots. Art as franchise. Come here go away. Drive-thru gridlock. Affordable vacations. Surveillance cameras. The generation gap. The generation gaps. The Gap.
These are among the many millions of things we complain about, sometimes even as we concurrently acknowledge the pettiness of our complaint. These tiny grievances are like pressure valves that enable us to continue functioning in our daily lives despite the bumps and obstacles we encounter, regardless of how petty they might seem. Robert Thomson delicately—and sometimes not—takes aim at past and present-day people and their problems: broken bonds of friendship, ageing, being an outsider, the search for love the the age of the quick fix, power dynamics in S/M relationships, stopping smoking, when casual becomes intimate, body dysmorphic disorder, letting go of past love, the ripple effect of a suicide attempt on friends and family, the dinner party that goes wrong at every turn. Often humorous, but always with an underlying truth, Tiny Grievances is the logical continuation of Thomson’s literary output.
“At turns uproariously funny, poignant and genuinely moving, these stories take you deep into the souls of everyday people trying to survive. Accomplished, assured and gripping, Robert Thomson’s Tiny Grievances tears apart the hilarity, humiliation and tragedy of human tribulation.”
—Jared Mitchell (Mayhem, Becky Chan)
[Thomson]… is an experienced and talented writer, who is a master at describing the trials and tribulations of dysfunctional families, both straight and gay. His work belongs in any library that collects contemporary North American English fiction. Readers of serious short stories will also want to discover this work.
—James Doig Anderson (Professor Emeritus of Library and Information Science, Rutgers University)
Tiny Grievances is Robert Thomson’s first collection of all-new stories in over fifteen years. It was published by HowNow Media in the spring of 2016.
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