Hugh Garner's Best Stories received the Governor General's Literary Award for English-language fiction in 1963. The collection consists of twenty-four stories composed between the late 1930s and the early 1960s and reflects the immense flux of the mid-century, from the Great Depression to the Spanish Civil War, World War II, the Civil Rights movement, and second-wave feminism. Garner takes on issues ranging from anglophone-francophone conflict in Canada to racism in the American South, from the disenfranchisement of First Nations people to the mistreatment of the mentally disabled. Best Stories is not only notable for the devastating precision of its prose, but also for its contribution to the Spanish Civil War literary canon. This new edition brings short fiction by Garner into conversation with the wider canon of Canadian and transnational leftist and proletarian literature.
Hugh Garner (1913-1979) was a Governor General Award-winning Canadian author. Before working as a journalist, editor, and fiction writer, Garner travelled to Spain to volunteer with the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War, and then enlisted in World War II. Best known for the novel Cabbagetown, he also published over a dozen books, a trilogy of plays, and hundreds of scripts and articles for Canadian magazines and newspapers. Garner was remarkably prolific, writing approximately one hundred short stories (many of them included in his five collections), with more unpublished manuscripts in his archives. Emily Robins Sharpe is Assistant Professor of global Anglophone and postcolonial literatures in the English Department at Keene State College, and affiliate faculty of the Women's and Gender Studies Department and the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Department. She is currently completing a monograph, Mosaic Fictions: Writing Diaspora in the Spanish Civil War.