Lori McNulty is an author, digital storyteller (photography, video, film), and travel writer. She is a two-time Journey Prize nominee, and a three-time finalist for the CBC Canada Writes Prizes, long-listed in both fiction and non-fiction. Lori was also short-listed for the New Quarterly Edna Staebler Personal Essay contest and other literary awards.
Her writing has appeared in The Fiddlehead, The New Quarterly, PRISM international, The Dalhousie Review, Descant and the Globe & Mail. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Arts degree in English from McGill University. A global traveler, she has trekked the Garhwal Himalayas, visited Russia during Perestroika, and interviewed street vendors from Ahmedabad, India to Durban, South Africa. Originally from Ottawa, Lori has lived in Montreal, Toronto, and Edmonton, and now lives near the ocean in Vancouver, Canada.
Life on Mars is her debut short fiction collection. She is now at work on a novel.
Publisher: Goose Lane Editions
A middle-aged sportswriter gets a new lease on life with a heart transplant and develops an intimate relationship with his donated heart. Two brothers find in their rotting family tree the tangled roots of a dark childhood memory. A young woman travels to Thailand to reconnect body and sould and returns home, physically transformed, to face the wrath of her estranged mother. A divorced man struggling to rediscover his place in the world hits the road from California to Newfoundland, guided by an irascible talking squid.
Life on Mars, Lori McNulty’s wild debut collection, sears the heart with blinding black humour and whiplash fast prose. With a flawless talent for juxtaposing the absurd with the everyday, violence and discord with redemption and metamorphosis, McNulty takes readers on an unexpected ride into the core of human existence.
Blending aesthetic styles from high realism to the fable-esque, Life on Mars devours life’s numbing tragedies and exhilarating passions with ravenous appetite. These are raw, moving, strange stories — an unforgettable reckoning for our disconnected times
“It is confirmed! There is Life on Mars and it is fierce and ferocious and full of love and loneliness. Lori McNulty’s stories are wise and funny and they pound with an energy that is simultaneously physical and philosophical. Get ready to go, boldly, where Canadian fiction has never been before.“
– Alexander McLeod, author of Light Lifting and Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalist
“Each of these stories moves like a lit fuse racing towards a keg of dynamite. Life on Mars boldly excavates the darkness within to emerge with its characters’ bloodied but still pulsing hearts held high. Lori McNulty leads her teenage stoners and cutters, her conflicted widows, her mentally ill, her sentient squids and many-armed gods to the edge of the cliff and dares them to live. This is ferocious fiction from a new master witness of life on earth.“
– Zsuzsi Gartner, author of Better Living Through Plastic Explosives, and Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalist
“These narratives are fresh and startling. They confirm Lori McNulty as a writer who can roam the universe, crossing boundaries of gender, species, and even mortality, while never straying from her native terrain — that of the human heart.”
– K.D. Miller, author of All Saints and short-list finalist for 2014 Rogers Writers’ Trust Award.
News, Reviews & Interviews
Recent coverage and appearances
Review, Life on Mars, Canadian Notes & Queries, February 2018
Review, Life on Mars, Scene Magazine, July, 2017
Word Vancouver, September 24, 2017 – Library Square (time TBD)
Wild Writers Festival, November 4, 2017 – 67 Erb Street West, Waterloo
Toronto star article quoting Lori McNulty as writer-in-residence aboard Canada C3 Expedition – August 20, 2017
Writer-in-residence, Canada C3 Expedition – July 11-23, 2017
Publishers Weekly Reviews Life on Mars – June 26, 2017
Review of Life on Mars in Winnipeg Review – 2017
Interview with Brad de Roo – Canadian Notes & Queries – April 12, 2017
CBC Reads interview – “Why Lori McNulty sees Mars as a metaphor for the human experience.” – April 3, 2017
“Beautiful and Horrifying: Lori McNulty on where the two meet.” – 49th Bookshelf
National Post – The Writer’s Trust Conversations – Lori McNulty and K.D. Mill
49th Bookshelf names Life on Mars a top read for Spring 2017 and notable book
Fingernecklace, brief review – Toronto Prose Mill
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Literary agent: Samantha Haywood, Transatlantic Agency
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