The Cunning to Be Strange
a collection of short stories
Gregory J. Reid
About the author
Gregory J. Reid, BA, MA, GDCS, Ph.D., teaches in the English and Intercultural Studies and
Comparative Canadian Literature programs of the Université de Sherbrooke. He is a co-editor of The
Bibliography of Comparative Studies in Canadian, Québec and Foreign Literatures (
GGC, 2001) and the author of A Re-examination of Tragedy and Madness in Eight Selected Plays
from the Greeks to the 20th Century (
: Edwin Mellen, 2002).
Read an Excerpt
Flat on his back on the planks of a loading palette, one leg akimbo, Lyrette studied the heave
of Seraphina Beaulieu’s breasts as she stood above him against the darkened sky. Her gaze was locked
on the horizon beyond the stockyard; as if she could see Loth Lyrette more clearly in the infinite
distance than there, as he physically was, at her feet: this glue of molecules, that dries then rots then
finally dissolves. Seraphina sniffed the sweet stench of Lyrette’s gin and decaying flesh.
Lyrette pulled a scrap of crumpled, onion-skin paper from his breast pocket. Seraphina had
only to glance at his outstretched hand to know the page, the chapter, the verse, the black vinyl covered
book, the bedside table, the faded, red-checked bed spread, the musty sheets, the bending
wood-panel walls, the numbered door, vacancy in neon hovering alien and solitary in the night sky off
Highway 8 north of Massicotte.
From “Lyrette” in The Cunning to Be Strange.
147 Pages, Paperback
Price $13.95 US