Francine Cunningham is an award-winning Indigenous writer, artist and educator. God Isn’t Here Today is her debut collection of short fiction, and her debut book of poems On/Me (Caitlin Press, 2019) was nominated for the BC and Yukon Book Prize, the Indigenous Voices Awards, and the Vancouver Book Award. She is a winner of the Indigenous Voices Award in the 2019 Unpublished Prose Category and of The Hnatyshyn Foundation’s REVEAL Indigenous Art Award. Her fiction has appeared in The Best Canadian Short Stories 2021, in Grain Magazine as the 2018 Short Prose Award winner, on The Malahat Review’s Far Horizons Prose shortlist, and in Joyland Magazine, The Puritan and elsewhere. Francine is a graduate of the Creative Writing MFA program at the University of British Columbia, and currently resides in Alberta. Learn more at www.francinecunningham.ca.
God Isn’t Here Today
Published by Invisible Publishing
For fans of Chuck Palahniuk, Joyce Carol Oates, and Karen Russell, the stories in Francine Cunningham’s debut collection God Isn’t Here Today ricochet between form and genre, taking readers on a dark, irreverent, yet poignant journey led by a unique and powerful new voice.
Driven by desperation into moments of transformation, Cunningham’s characters are presented with moments of choice—some for the better and some for the worse. A young man goes to God’s office downtown for advice; a woman discovers she is the last human on Earth; an ice cream vendor is driven insane by his truck’s song; an ageing stripper uses undergarments to enact her escape plan; an incubus tires of his professional grind; and a young woman inherits a power that has survived genocide, but comes with a burden of its own.
Even as they flirt with the fantastic, Cunningham’s stories unfold with the innate elegance of a spring fern, reminding us of the inherent dualities in human nature—and that redemption can arise where we least expect it.
“God Isn’t Here Today is a collection, I feel, that is whispered in the calligraphy of ghosts. Cunningham continues to both astound and haunt all who discover her.”—Richard Van Camp, author of The Lesser Blessed