Our Lady of Perpetual Realness & Other StoriesCason Sharpe
Band sucked. I didn’t want to be a professional flutist anyway. The other kids in the orchestra didn’t even drink. I wanted to be more like Sid. In grade 10, Sid got sent to the office for being drunk in second-period science. He told the vice principal to go fuck herself and then he puked all over her desk. Sid rarely came to class, but he was always roaming the halls with this big rainbow Louis Vuitton handbag dangling from his arm. Beth said it was probably a knock-off.
Two teenagers shoot amateur porn. Coworkers pool hop after dark. A call centre employee scrambles to keep their shitty job. Sweetheart tries something new in order to pay rent. A group of friends get stoned and go to the movies. Did you hear about the drag BBQ on Saturday? Everyone’s going to be there, and everyone’s going to bring an amazing look. Set in the twin backdrops of Toronto and Montreal, Our Lady of Perpetual Realness is a glimpse into the lives of contemporary queer youth. Equal parts wry and tender, these six stories follow young, gay men of colour through the confusing, bleak, and often humorous aspects of their day-to-day lives as they struggle to discover the world and their place within it.
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PRISM International | “For each feeling of inevitable disappointment, there is a feeling of redemption: a small but significant moment when the protagonist takes back control, even if that just means ignoring the bank statement and spending money to ferry to the beach for sunset.”
Lemon Hound | “It’s 2017, the year of the great avocado toast debacle, and Cason Sharpe’s debut chapbook of short stories is here to deliver some late-capitalist millennial realness. The collection is consistent, horrifyingly relatable, and the jumping-off point for Sharpe, a genius freak we should all keep an eye on.”
The Wilds | “For all its brevity, Sharpe’s prose has an unmistakable luster found not in the words themselves but the secret doors they allude to opening…”
Salon .II. | “[Sharpe’s] work is smart, poetic, detailed, funny, and it demands emotional rigour from its readers. Our Lady of Perpetual Realness is a small book, but it’s an important one.”
Cult MTL | “Pool-hopping, being broke, riding diversity quotas, shitty jobs and getting stoned all inform the grave lightness of Sharpe’s world view. Sharpe is an astute storyteller, capable of capturing a reader with open arms and holding them close, until they either laugh or weep at the perpetual realness of life.”
Cason Sharpe is a writer currently based in Toronto. His fiction and criticism has appeared and is forthcoming in Canadian Art, C Magazine, Public Parking, Cleo Journal, Guts Canadian Feminist Magazine, Brick, PRISM International, and the Hart House Review, among others. His first collection of stories, Our Lady of Perpetual Realness, was published by Metatron Press in 2017. Named a Queer Writer to Watch by THIS Magazine, Cason has presented work at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Vancouver Art Book Fair, the Prarie Art Book Fair, and the Hamilton Film Festival. He is currently at work on a book of experimental criticism in the form of epistolary nonfiction.