Hugh Hood was a Canadian novelist, short story writer, essayist, and university professor. He wrote thirty-two books including seventeen novels and several volumes of short fiction. In the early 1970s he and fellow authors Clark Blaise, Raymond Fraser, John Metcalf, and Ray Smith formed the well-known Montreal Story Tellers Fiction Performance Group. In 1988, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Flying a Red Kite
Canadian author Hugh Hood’s first collection of short stories.
It all started toward the end of the 1930s, when the young Hugh Hood serviced a flourishing Saturday Evening Post delivery route with more than fifty weekly customers. That was where the author-to-be first encountered the short story, in the fiction of the famous magazine writers Damon Runyon, Guy Gilpatric, Arthur Train, and the master of them all, P.G. Wodehouse.
Hood would go on to write seventeen novels and nine books of short stories, and be inducted into the Order of Canada in 1988. Perhaps more importantly, he would be a founding member of the now-legendary Montreal Story Tellers group. Reissued here on its 55th anniversary, Hood’s first collection of short fiction, Flying a Red Kite contains some of his most well-known short fiction, from the post-apocalyptic visions of “After the Sirens” to the Faulknerian portrait of rural Ontario in “Three Halves of a House.” Flying a Red Kite is an essential window into the work of a major and unique Canadian talent.
Hood’s thirty-year career demonstrates his profound and compassionate sensitivity to our human predicament.
Flying A Red Kite is a subtle and generous book.
Michael Gnarowski co-edited The Making of Modern Poetry in Canada, compiled The Concise Bibliography of English Canadian Literature, and edited the Critical Views on Canadian Writers series for McGraw-Hill Ryerson. Gnarowski is professor emeritus at Carleton University in Ottawa.