Flight Paths of the Emperor
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Flight Paths of the Emperor

Flight Paths of the Emperor is one of the best books produced by a Canadian writer in the last decade or more… In each story Heighton sets up a sequence of resonances drawn more from musical than literary form… a complex, thoroughly satisfying book.”
Vancouver Sun

Flight Paths of the Emperor, stories, pub. in Canada by The Porcupine's Quill, 1992
• in Quebec by L'instant meme, 1993
• in the UK and Australia by Granta Books, 1997
• Granta Books paperback, 2000
• Revised edition, Vintage Canada, 2001

Nominated for the Trillium Award, 1993

Nominated for the W.H. Smith Award (UK) 1998

“["Five Paintings of the New Japan"] is a bona fide classic.”
Quill & Quire

“Brilliant… Steven Heighton's stories aspire to an Ovidian kind of grandeur, singing of bodies, cultures and landscapes both physical and spiritual in states of transformation… In becoming the first British press to publish him, Granta has landed a catch for which we should all be grateful.” —The Observer (UK, 1997)

“Like Tobias Wolff or Carson McCullers, this acclaimed young writer seems to have the ability to produce story after story of unremitting ingenuity… With his debut novel—The Shadow Boxer—being released simultaneously, this is evidently the start of something momentous.” —The Observer (UK, 2000)

“Heighton is like a young Ondaatje, a superb cratsman at ease in foreign places and distant times, a sympathetic and watchful traveller able to sift through scattered experiences until they acquire meaning.” —The Globe & Mail

“Heighton's pace and delivery is flawless… the overall effect of this poignant [collection] is a lingering one.” —The Daily Yomiuri (Japan)

“Vivacious, purposeful and entertaining. [Heighton's] prose is both stylish and unfussy. He is one of Canada's most talented young writers.” —Times Literary Supplement (UK, 1997)

“These stories are remarkable in their astute and perceptive portrayal of another culture. Heighton's still, spare prose encapsulates both the Japanese landscape and the psyche of its people.” —Times Literary Supplement (UK, 2000)

“Steven Heighton turns a masterful hand to the short story.” —Ottawa Citizen

“Heighton is an empathetic writer… his respect for other people's suffering is immense, direct, and without glaring ideological motivation. Flight Paths of the Emperor is a pleasure to read.” —Shift

“Superb stories display[ing] a love of detail and a precision evocative of the tea ceremony… Heighton delights the reader with his clear-eyed perceptions and delicate style.” —Montreal Gazette

“Poignant… rich in detail… deals with the spectres of Hiroshima and Pearl Harbour while keeping the essence of good story-telling.” —The Guardian (UK)

“Heighton's stories are sophisticated and elegantly told. They explore—-sometimes with dazzling intricacy, always with imaginative verve—-the ambiguities of flight and the complexity of return.” —Books in Canada

“Each of the stories here is remarkable in its way. Inquiring, passionate, understanding, already in his first collection… Steven Heighton is to be noted as a marvellous storyteller with whole hemispheres to teach.” —Quill & Quire (starred review)

“Remarkable both as an exploration of cultural difference and an affecting portrait of people coming to know themselves through an understanding of others. Shows moments of Proustian deftness…” —Metro (UK)

“Heighton writes achingly beautiful stories that are delicate and grounded explorations of the human condition.” —Calgary Herald

“These stories have the formal perfection and the deceptive simplicity of a sand garden, or a folded screen that conceals intricate and complex meanings. Individual stories reveal ever greater levels of linguistic and structural complexity.” —Paragraph

“Stories that soar and see and are put together, both individually and collectively, with consummate art.” —Essays on Canadian Writing

Flight Paths of the Emperor is very good indeed.” —The Literary Review (UK)

“Exceptional… A brilliant portrait of separate cultures… the writing is molten, quixotic, and precise.” —Scotland on Sunday

Theatre de revenants is a beautiful book.” —Le Devoir (trans. from French)