Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Secrets Men Keep gets its first Canadian review

I'm so elated (and a little relieved) that my short story collection, The Secrets Men Keep, received its first Canadian review today, over on the literary journal Malahat Review's website. I was getting a touch nervous - the book was released back in mid April - as the room to publish proper reviews continues to shrink. Thankfully, writer Colin Loughran does a thorough, thoughtful job probing the themes and ideas captured in these thirteen stories, and makes some lovely observations about the book's prose as well.

Here's a taste of what he has to say:

What’s on display in many of these stories is not only the quiet lives of desperation of these men, but also the dreadful personal and social consequences of clinging to fantasies of virility. In “Snoop,” a man carries on a petty, one-sided rivalry with a former lover—first via an alumni magazine and later by way of social media—that serves to expose his own deep-seated loneliness. And “Malware” shows us a nightmarish parody of the men’s rights movement, in which young men play a videogame called “Rape Her Now!” and participate in a “Take Back the Night counterdemonstration” dressed as a character from A Clockwork Orange and bearing slogans that read “NO MEANS buy her aNOther drink.”  
The secrets men keep are often small ones in the grand scheme of things, yet these stories feel timely in how they engage with our contemporary crisis of masculinity.

Anything, thanks again to Loughran and The Malahat Review for the time and the effort. Read the full review here.



  1. Hi Mark,

    Belatedly catching up… Such tantalizing morsels. Can't wait to read the book!


  2. Thanks José! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.