Melanie Little, a former figure skater, has lived in Timmins, Montreal, Toronto, Los Angeles, and Vancouver, and currently resides in Ottawa. She has worked as a tour guide, teacher, museum guard, bartender, dance instructor, stage manager, concierge, and a tulip promoter. Her stories have been published in Scribner's Best of Fiction Workshops (1998) and Outskirts: Women Writing from Small Places (2002).
In this brilliant debut collection, Melanie Little emerges as a bold new voice with ten smart stories that explore and explode the concept of confidence in all of its contradictory meanings, suggesting a very fine line between trust and treachery. In Little’s world, a Grade 6 schoolgirl grapples with having a left leg that is four inches longer than her right leg, a father once bursting with temerity descends into gambling addiction and leaves a legacy to his daughter in the form of a $500 casino chip, and a disgruntled saleswoman induces self-inflicted highway robbery while a celebrity photographer finds desperate assurance in stalking his subjects.
Singing with brightness and despair, the deliciously wacky and beautiful tenor of these stories rings true, but also surprises. In the indomitable spirit of confidence, Little reveals how vulnerable and delicate we all really are, and in the process joins the vanguard of young Canadian urban writers. She is a hugely talented young writer to watch.
Confidence is an exciting, complex work. It's full of ambition, energy and thoughtful scope. While despising the all-too-familiar phrase, 'deceptively simple,' it does apply here in the best possible way, because, as Little gains full control of her craft, she could very well become the Alice Munro of our generation...Little's ability to weave outside the novel form is strong and Confidence is worth your hard-won, book-buying bucks.
...Confidence is overwhelmingly successful.