Western Taxidermy, Stories by Barb Howard

When Deirdre invited me to the baby shower I just thawed the gopher in the microwave, turned it inside out, scraped it clean, and stuffed it the old-fashioned way, with cotton batting. Then I posed it to stand on its back legs, the cute way gophers do sometimes when they stand near their homes. I finished up the details—nails, nose, eyes, teeth—to give it a cute, inquisitive look. Sure, it was no Robert Bateman, but it was pretty good given my time constraints.

A taxidermist presents a stuffed gopher to a new mother at her baby shower; a trip to a cheesy roadside tourist trap exposes the flaws in a young couple’s relationship; and a woman finds herself attracted, against all her natural instincts, to the slovenly proprietor of a drive-thru hamburger joint.

Tender, satirical, and occasionally absurd, Barb Howard’s new story collection Western Taxidermy is a perfect introduction to one of Western Canada’s most high-spirited literary voices.

ISBN-13: 978-1-927063-11-8

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