All The Anxious Girls on Earth

All the Anxious Girls on Earth marks the debut of a startlingly original literary voice. At the heart of Zsuzsi Gartner’s exuberant prose is a cri de coeur for personal responsibility as the sun sets on a century in which the media has been omnipresent and everyone feels like a victim. There are no innocent bystanders here, though.

A woman calls in fake bomb threats from the 19th floor of a bank tower as revenge against her ex-lover. The mother of a girl killed by a teenage urban guerrilla thrives spectacularly in her industrious grief, transforming herself into a forgiveness guru and talk-show host. Lured into the wilderness by her desire for a man who rebuilds vintage airplanes, a young woman finds she lusts more for biscotti and city sidewalks. A small, heroic child makes a guileless request for pajamas and creates a psychic storm at the center of her anxious, achievement-mad parents’ lives.

These are deliciously noisy stories – high octane linguistic rocketry that takes on a world gone numb. Often both achingly poignant and funny, these remarkable tales dazzle with a unique sensibility shot through with intellectual verve and crackling black wit.

All the Anxious Girls on Earth was a Book of the Year in The Globe & Mail, Quill & Quire, Chatelaine, and The National Post

My two fave comments about Anxious Girls:

My son, who loves alliteration, calls it “All the Worried Women of the World” & I love donkeye, whoever he is!  He wrote on Amazon:

“Wild, voracious stories. This is the great Canadian white noise, a hilarious and funky collection.”

What the Reviewers & Readers said about
All the Anxious Girls on Earth

“Zsuzsi Gartner is a brilliant, ball-busting, mind-expanding writer, the kind who sneaks up on you with her darkness, her wit, her imagination, her humour, her political savvy.” –Amy Friedman Fraser, The Globe and Mail, April 10, 1999

“[Gartner’s] undeniably original voice charges her stories with irresistible verve.” —Publishers Weekly

“All the Anxious Girls on Earth is madly engaging and utterly accomplished. Like Lorrie Moore or Mary Flanagan, Gartner skilfully renders her anxious girls with both sadness and joy. Equal parts malevolent wit and great tenderness, these stories are original and reckless, and, like chocolate grasshoppers, are best swallowed whole.”  — Lynn Crosbie

“Gartner writes smart, delicious fiction. . . . Consider it double espresso for the soul.”
Vancouver Courier

“[Gartner] uses her sharp wit to deft advantage in portraying a parade of clever, observant, sardonic female protagonists.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Zsuzsi Gartner’s collection is better than great. The language dances on the pages.”
— Candace Fertile, The Calgary Herald

“A combination of wicked humour, wild imagination, mordant satire, close observations, and tight, tight control.” –Bill Richardson, The Georgia Straight

“Gartner wears the short story like spandex on a bicycle courier.”
Lorna Jackson, Quill and Quill, starred review

“These stories sing with brightness, and the sentences are often dazzling. But beneath the glow nestles the lurk and pull of violence, and it is this crack inside the glass that pushes these stories and characters into frightening, riveting, complex territories.”
— Aimee Bender, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt

“In every paragraph of this book there’s genius”   — Monday Magazine (Victoria)

“The collection marks the entrance of a bold, challenging, entertaining writer, a rare crossbreed on any literary landscape.” — Bert Archer, NOW Magazine

“I don’t remember reading a first collection of short stories that so impressed me with its control of language and a brilliant creation of character.” — Robert Adams, “Talking Books” CBC Radio One

“Gartner’s verbal gymnastics and unapolegetic mockery of all of society’s sacred cows are refreshing and a much-needed wake-up call to Canadian fiction.” — FastForward (Calgary)

“All the Anxious Girls on Earth is lively and engaging, challenging the mind and enlivening the imagination.”  — Charlotte Spurrill, Author’s Den


Here’s a wonderful interview I had with the writer Sherie Posesorski for Books in Canada about Anxious Girls

And this is a nicely detailed piece by Kamloops English professor Ginny Ratsoy in Northwest Passages

If You’d Like To Buy All the Anxious Girls on Earth:

(The publisher of Anxious Girls, Key Porter, sadly became defunct last year, and the company that took over its stock, HB Fenn, is undergoing its own woes. There a only a few hundred copies of Anxious Girls left in boxes in a warehouse somewhere in Ontario, and hopefully will be accessible soon to booksellers. Meanwhile, I’m sure there are new copies floating about here and there, as well as used – and please don’t forget to support your local independent bookstore and our wonderful libraries.)

Canadian Booksellers Association
Chapters Indigo