The Dead Are More Visible
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The Dead Are More Visible

The Dead Are More Visible holds a rich mix of suspense, humour, and intimacy, but perhaps its greatest power is subtlety… Equally at home in a Tokyo playground or on a nightime rink looking for a lost eyeball, this is a writer who has earned his place among the country's very best.”
—from the Trillium Award Jury Citation

The Dead Are More Visible, a short story collection published by Knopf Canada in May 2012

Trillium Literary Award finalist, 2013

A National Post Best Book of 2012 selection

A CBC Radio 3 Best Books of 2012 selection

Torn From the Pages feature, April 2013

Two stories from the book—the title story and "Shared Room on Union"—won gold National Magazine Awards, in 2008 and 2010 respectively. Most of the stories have been previously published in such magazines and anthologies as Tin House, The Walrus, Malahat Review, Geist, Northwest Review, Descant, Maisonneuve, The Fiddlehead, The New Quarterly, Best Canadian Stories, The Exile Book of Sports Stories, Numéro Cinq, The White Collar Book, The Black Boot, and The Albawtaka Review.

“The best stories in this book—the title tale; "Shared Room on Union"; and "Nearing the Sea, Superior"—are as good as the fiction of Alice Munro and Mavis Gallant. Or, to be more blunt, Heighton is as good a writer as Canada has ever produced… It is a testament to his authorial gifts that he not only can write about sex with exquisite delicacy, but that many of the best passages in his stories are about intimacy in the broadest sense… At its best, [his] vivid and precise prose manages to achieve the same miracle of incarnate expressiveness found in Joyce and Nabokov, masters whose words are so intensely textured and specific that we feel them pulsing through our body… The best stories in this book do what only great art can do: make us more fiercely alive.”
—Jeet Heer, National Post   READ THE FULL REVIEW →

“Heighton has returned to the short story with The Dead Are More Visible, a collection as powerful as the much earlier linked stories of Flight Paths of the Emperor… A delight… Funny, scary, sad… He can write smart stories without seeming literary, while unafraid of tough stories about very unliterary people… [His] talent might be called a knack, but it could also be called genius.” —Brian Brett, Globe & Mail   READ THE FULL REVIEW →

The Dead Are More Visible show[s] Heighton at his best… Work of this quality is a real achievement, even if the technique, as it should be, is often invisible.” —Alex Good, Toronto Star   READ THE FULL REVIEW →

“Heighton is a master… equally at home in writing first-person accounts of fictional car jackings or in the shadow of Hiroshima's devastation.” —Emily Keeler, The Globe & Mail

“As good a short story writer in this country as anyone not named Munro… The best (living) author never to have won a Giller Prize.” —Mark Medley, National Post, Best of 2012 roundup

“Short stories are the ideal format for Steven Heighton… these tiny, distilled gems pack a… punch.” —Readers' Digest

“Storytelling at its unassuming best… Heighton's experience shows in the way he refrains from forcing his stories down either a predictable or an implausible path… [His] stories are full of telling moments… when a lifetime of loneliness and disregard can no longer be ignored.” —Joel Yanofsky, Montreal Gazette

The Dead Are More Visible features Heighton at the top of his game. The language here is powerful, not a word misplaced, not a word wasted… Throughout the eleven stories, Heighton (and, through Heighton, the reader) inhabits a wide variety of bodies… the scope is impressive, particularly since no matter how far Heighton departs from his own experience (in terms of sex, age, geography, sexuality, sobriety, or class), his narrative voice is fully convincing and irresistibly compelling… There is a gravitas in this collection reminiscent of J.M. Coetzee… [Heighton] is a master at suddenly shifting his readers' perspective, making them see things anew… When I get to the end of a story like "Nearing the sea, Superior," I believe profoundly and right from my core: fiction matters.” —Angie Abdou, Fernie Fix

“An utterly compelling new collection… [with] nuanced and fully realized female protagonists… In all the best stories [here], multiple themes and plot points are juggled aptly… amplifying one another with a satisfying resonance… The Dead Are More Visible offers fine-tuned, imagistic prose featuring provocative plots and characters while exploring complex subjects and themes. One of the best books of the year so far.” —Shawn Syms, The Winnipeg Review

“Steven Heighton's third story collection is a wonderfully engaging read… [His] characters… are appealingly human and compassionately constructed… His language, elegant and accessible in syntax and selection, is free from both ostentation and dry simplification.” —Winnipeg Free Press

“Heighton is indisputably one of Canada's most important literary talents.” —Kingston Whig-Standard

“Excellent… 4.5 out of 5 stars… what life and reading are all about.” —By the Book Reviews

“The stories in this collection sit well together… Heighton lavishes attention on the way language helps frame the world.” —Quill & Quire

“Heighton has a natural talent for understanding and describing someone's true nature… Even though Heighton fills [his] stories with so much complexity, they always leave you asking more. Those questions keep you thinking about the stories long after you're done reading them… I love books that do that to you.” —Bookends Reviews, News Talk 610 CKTB

“The writing is wonderfully done… I'll definitely be recommending this collection.” —Canadian Bookworm

“Each of the eleven stories in this collection surprises and delights… With a Heighton story, only the essential is conjured.” —Richard Farrell, Numero Cinq

“These stories demonstrate Heighton's considerable narrative skills, confirming the promise shown in his 1992 debut collection, Flight Paths of the Emperor.” —Dave Williamson, Prairie Fire Review of Books

“Heighton has come close to producing what might be considered the perfect book of short stories… This is a writer incapable of being facile or shallow, yet one whose work is also funny and fun… His short stories instantly surround the reader with an entire world, largely recognizable but more intense.” —J.C. Sutcliffe, The Literary Review of Canada