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Posted: Tuesday March 23, 2010
M.A.C. Farrant

Photo by Laura Sawchuk

M.A.C. Farrant is the author of sixteen books: thirteen collections of satirical and philosophical short fiction; one novel, The Strange Truth About Us; a novel-length memoir, My Turquoise Years; a book of humorous essays, The Secret Lives of Litterbugs; and the stage adaptation of My Turquoise Years, which premiered at Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre in 2013.

A full-time writer currently residing in North Saanich, British Columbia, Farrant’s work as been nominated for many awards, including the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, The Van City Book Prize, the National Magazine Awards, the Gemini Award (for the Bravo short-film adaptation of her story “Rob’s Guns & Ammo”), the Victoria Book Prize, and two Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards for her play My Turquoise Years, among others. She is a regular book reviewer for the Vancouver Sun, the Globe and Mail, and the National Post.

Farrant has taught writing at the University of Victoria, the Victoria School of Writing, the Banff Centre for the Arts, and was Writer-in-Residence at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.


April 2018 : Four Talon titles nominated for ReLit Awards!

March 2018 : Montreal Gothic in the house

September 2017 : The Days is a finalist for the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize!

February 2017 : Join Daphne Marlatt and M.A.C. Farrant in Calgary this Thursday

October 2016 : Our Fall 2016 books are launched!

October 2016 : Tomorrow: Talon’s big fall launch!

October 2016 : Thanks for a great reading, Victoria!

October 2016 : Join M.A.C. Farrant at Munro’s in Victoria to launch The Days

August 2016 : Reviews of The Days are in!

July 2016 : Fall 2016 previews!

February 2016 : Valentine’s Day Specials!

January 2015 : Book Review: Birth of a Bridge in the Vancouver Sun

January 2015 : Listen: M.A.C. Farrant reading from The World Afloat

January 2015 : An Inspiring Book for 2015

December 2014 : Happy Holidays!

October 2014 : M.A.C. Farrant Wins Victoria Book Prize!

September 2014 : City of Victoria Book Prize Shortlist Announced

June 2014 : Video: Talon’s Spring 2014 Poetry Launch in Vancouver

June 2014 : The Reviews Are In: Readers Love The World Afloat

May 2014 : Meta-Talon: Launched and Loving It

April 2014 : Tonight! Spring Poetry Launch in Vancouver

April 2014 : Tonight! Spring Poetry Launch in Calgary

April 2014 : It’s Poetry Month!

March 2014 : Spring Specials! A Brilliant Play & A Bundle of Farrant

February 2014 : The First Spring 2014 Book Has Arrived!

February 2014 : Is Something Missing from Canada Reads?

January 2014 : Browse Our Spring 2014 Catalogue!

December 2013 : Interview: MAC Farrant on My Turquoise Years

October 2013 : The Victoria Writers Festival: Woodpeckers, Writers, and Words!

October 2013 : New Meta-talon Post: 19 Questions with M.A.C. Farrant


The Days

2017 ReLit Award for Poetry (Finalist)

City of Victoria Butler Book Prize (2017), Finalist


The World Afloat

Winner, City of Victoria Butler Book Prize, 2014


The Strange Truth About Us

One of the Top Twenty-Three Canadian Fiction Books of 2012 (Globe and Mail)


The Days

“A beguiling, quirky delight … Ever-whimsical and confidently left-field. … It is fully possible to discern serious intent behind the book’s gleeful riffling through cultural ephemera; the odd humor, off-center observations, and clever wordplay anchor the book … A tilted or askew vision operates throughout and takes readers to unexpected but rewarding places.”
Publishers Weekly

“Hilarious, absurd, these pieces of micro-fiction are like a mirror held up to the reader’s life. Farrant’s spare prose packs full stories into a few short paragraphs that you will be thinking about for weeks afterwards. She has her finger on the pulse of our times.”
—City of Victoria Butler Book Prize jury, 2017

“Once again M.A.C. Farrant has delivered a packet of fictional snippets with heft. … Grounded in the everyday, Farrant’s observations reveal the unusual in the usual, and she does it with her charming and quirky sense of humour. … Farrant has her finger firmly on the pulse of contemporary life and can see both its beauty and its flaws, and they’re often the same thing. … The Days: Forecasts, Warnings, Advice is great fun, but it also makes you look at the world in a fresh way.”
Vancouver Sun

“Nimbly walking the tightrope between prose and poetry … knife-sharp narratives … an odd, Alice in Wonderland-esque calendar … You can feel you’re growing older in the few hours it takes to read these tales. … a book that doesn’t give the brain a moment’s rest.”
Pacific Rim Review of Books

“The short prose pieces in this new collection are sharp and shapely embodiments of the old adage ‘Less is more.’ Here M.A.C. Farrant curates her own brilliant and uneasy theory of modern life where every day is ‘a combination of breath and panic and glory’.”
—Diane Schoemperlen


The World Afloat

“Canadian readers would be ill-advised to ignore M.A.C. Farrant’s The World Afloat. … Farrant attunes us to the individual’s struggle to make sense of everyday life. Her stories revel in the unfailing tendency of things around us to come undone. … She creates a constellation of very focused fragments, all of which function as windows to reveal precisely those moments when the supposed solidity of everyday experience melts into air … Farrant, as a modern literary explorer, claims fresh territories of form and genre.”
The Bull Calf

“Madcap miniatures, helium-filled vignettes that untether the ordinary from itself and use the mundane as a launch pad for a series bizarre, hilarious, surrealist prose-poem adventures. … A wild hot-air balloon ride drifting over patchwork fields, hovering over each just long enough for some odd detail to reveal itself before floating on.”
Contemporary Verse 2

“Just as the woman on the cover appears to drift effortlessly among the cosmos, each micro-story in The World Afloat is deftly captured with grace, humour, and enviable creativity. It is the book any writer wished she wrote, that inspires any reader to pick up her pen and give it a go. M.A.C. Farrant’s ‘fierce words meant to delight’ do just that, and as each story ends, one can’t but help inhaling the next one. Farrant takes the mundane and twists it – just when you think the story might get sad or downright serious there’s a little crumb at the end, one that tastes of laughter.”
—City of Victoria Butler Book Prize jury, 2014

“Farrant is definitely a reader’s writer. In The World Afloat: Miniatures, Vancouver Island writer Farrant presents 75 stories, most less than a page long, and most using Farrant’s customary sense of humour as she examines ordinary life and transforms it into the eccentric or reveals its essential oddities. These small slices of life show that perspective can change everything. … Farrant is concerned with the quirky reality of life, a reality that words bump up against in their attempt to capture it. … Suffering and sadness are inescapable, but happiness also abounds. Stylistically the stories are snappy and direct, and Farrant uses accessible and idiomatic language fluidly.”
Vancouver Sun

“My sole recommendation for summertime reading is M.A.C. Farrant’s latest book The World Afloat. Why? It’s the perfect beach or sundeck read. The book is 75 short pieces or “miniatures” as the North Saanich writer calls them. These mini-opuses are witty and quirky. They’re sometimes funny, sometimes surreal and always sharply observed. By peeping at life from the margins — and ignoring the deep wagon tracks of traditional narrative — Farrant emerges as an original voice conveying something compelling and true about what it means to be human. What’s more, The World Afloat sells for a bargain $12.95 — so the price is miniature, too. Plus, being only slightly larger than a pocketbook, it fits neatly into one’s hands.”
Victoria Times Colonist

“Miniatures, yes. Or if we see Farrant’s new collection like a painting, like a wide comprehensive Bosch-like canvas, these are details, lifted from the whole and magnified, allowing us to look more closely. We never fear we will go adrift in this world afloat because the narrator is anchored. … Some pieces are complete stories, but short. Others are teasers or hints or scenes. And some are small works of genius – laugh out loud funny or thoughtful. She has perfected this technique – nay, it is an art.”
Coastal Spectator

“The miniatures of The World Afloat are … as wild as colourful birthday helium balloons released into a hurricane; small points of cheerful light whirled in a dark and violent wind … Like poems, or recalled fragments of dreams, these kinds of stories are meant to resonate, rather than reveal, to stir up the mental sludge, flush out the septic tank of the subconscious, to make us feel more truly aware and alive.”
BC Bookworld

“On almost every page we find ourselves sitting up, pop-eyed, thinking did you just say that? … The wackiness appears wildly spontaneous, but belies the polish with which each character is made vivid, each event sharp-edged … The World Afloat is quite a gorgeous little book, with a handsome cover, as enigmatic as the miniatures it encloses. I should also mention it is very reasonably priced.”
WordWorks (BC Writers Federation magazine)


The Strange Truth About Us

“The Strange Truth About Us is impossible to summarize, save to say that it is both an acknowledgment of and an antidote to all the uncertainty we must shoulder in this, our age of anxiety and absence. Delightful and disturbing in all the best ways, this book addresses that which mostly remains unspoken in ways that have seldom been spoken before.”
Globe and Mail

“One thing is sure: the format invites – if not demands – us to dip into the book again and again for insights that are funny, timely, provocative and unsettling.”
Prairie Fire Review of Books

“The Strange Truth About Us is shot through with Farrant’s subversive wit, her acute sense of irony, As well as being poetic and thought-provoking, it is quite funny.”
Victoria Times Colonist

“Farrant pulls you into the absence, scrapes you around the side of it, and spits you back out, confused and satisfied. … her prose tends to be acerbic and funny, a little jarring, and her stories are constructed to resonate with the reader long after the book is done. The Strange Truth About Us left me feeling unsettled and slightly anxious, but in a way that felt necessary. It is well worth the read.”

“a novel, a memoir, a prose poem, a reading list, a note book, a book of quotations, a manifesto. It’s a work of intellectual speculation on what the world is going to look like in a few years. … experimental, brave, daring, unusual, brilliant.”
– J.S. Porter


Down the Road to Eternity

"Farrant has a lightness of touch, and her writing is not too charmed by its own cleverness; she achieves something quite tricky there. With an eye to the world that is somewhat aslant, her stories cannot nestle neatly into the forms usually associated with realism, and the formats she chooses are refreshing: at her best, it feels as if she is getting at the heart of something that takes other writers much longer to lead us to." — Canadian Literature

“Farrant, it appears, will offer satire, surrealism and silliness to guide us through the rogue waves of reality toward a shore called Meaning. The stories are full of changing ideas and scenarios, and contain worlds. The reader might want to pick at these stories slowly, however, as they are extremely rich.”
Globe and Mail

“M.A.C. Farrant is a trapeze artist of the imagination, swinging over the existential void.”
BC Bookworld


The Breakdown So Far

“A brave iconoclast.”
— Publishers Weekly

“The Breakdown So Far is a fantastic and whimsical challenge to the intellectual doom of everyday life. [Farrant] is an elegant and spare writer, whipping up a foam of visionary ideas with a few short strokes of language.”
— Ottawa Xpress

“The Breakdown So Far is challenging, unnerving, unforgettable and very unlikely. If, as Nabokov advises, the monster of grim common sense must be ‘shot dead,’ then Farrant is, indeed, a crack shot.”
— Globe and Mail

“Farrant is a master of the literary equivalent of a waking dream, creating subtle insurrections disguised as prose. The Breakdown So Far, her latest collection of absurd short stories, is a minivan crammed full of weird.”
— Toronto Star

“[Farrant] manages to make these stories feel very whole and rounded, despite their brevity—no small task.”
— Herizons


Darwin Alone in the Universe

Farrant is better at startling us with unnerving, often misanthropic, visions of everyday life than perhaps any other Canadian writer.
Globe & Mail

M.A.C. Farrant is a wonderful writer of domestic comedy."
Bill Richardson, CBC

A brave iconoclast.
Publishers Weekly

“Quixotically brilliant…”
January Magazine

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