“…[Genni Gunn’s] poems traverse the globe and take readers along for a ride through a world where familial ghosts reside. The memories those spirits bring, often unsettling, ring true as bright shards of glass in sunlight…”
— Heidi Greco, author of Glorious Birds
Accidents (Signature Editions, 2022)
“In elegant language which peels back masks to discover a self ‘folded inside these pages,’ Genni Gunn’s Accidents exposes links hidden in childhood and in the body to the essence of family, time, and place… Gunn’s poetry illuminates found objects, their connections coalescing into an autobiography of perception itself.”
— Marilyn Bowering, author of What is Long Past occurs in Full Light
“…a navigation of the ghosts who accompany her on her journey through time. Invisible, blind, moving by touch, haptic decisions, they are always present, invisible, irrevocable. Once touched, they become memory, as hard and fast as any rule of music or grammar. Love endures. Danger endures. Accidents happen…”
— Linda Rogers, The BC Review of Books
“In eight intersecting stories . . .Genni Gunn charts the blank spaces in human relationships: silences between loved ones, dark histories neither escaped nor forgotten, moral dilemmas that spin on a dime, death that brings no redemption. Delicately rendered, with characters that move restlessly from one landscape to the next, these complex stories look without flinching into the heart of human longing.”
— Merilyn Simonds, author of Refuge
Permanent Tourists (Signature Editions, 2020)
Finalist for the ReLit Prize
“…The final page of Permanent Tourists closes with an “ocean of ghosts,” an image simultaneously elusive and evocative. This exploration of emotion without the assumption of clear resolution underlines the entirety of Genni Gunn’s third short story collection to a fascinating effect …”. — Zoe McKenna, The Ormsby Review
“Gunn is a master of the short story genre. Her sentences are elegant, supple, dense yet transparent, and lit by intelligence, wit, and compassion.
— Caterina Edwards, author of The Sicilian Wife
Tracks: Journeys in time and place (Signature Editions, 2013)
Finalist for CNFC Readers Choice Award
"Good travel writing opens up the mind, even as it relates a journey. Genni Gunn … has a knack for illuminating how landscape and history, both national and personal, can intersect...The tales of journeys taken Gunn details are mighty fine. But they're more than matched by the inner journeys she's tapped for this collection." -- Winnipeg Free Press
“There are many sorts of tracks: animal tracks, railroad tracks, race tracks, music tracks. Tracks also can be a verb, and in this new book, Canadian novelist Genni Gunn tracks herself through a series of travel essays in which places…” — Linda Knowles, CanText
“What defines Gunn’s collection is not just poetry, but also music and art and travel and the need to constantly recreate and relocate oneself through all these media… — Carol Matthews, Event
“Gunn’s writing is exquisite and beautifully rendered.” Cariboursmom
Solitaria (Signature Editions, 2010)
Long-listed for the Giller Prize; translated into Dutch and Italian
"In Gunn’s narrative, we switch between the tempestuous reunion in 2002 and the Santoro family’s hardships from Mussolini’s era onwards. . . . Gunn’s depiction of David as the bewildered confidante and reluctant siphon for his aunt’s tale of woe is perfectly drawn. He doubles as a cultural translator for the novel itself . . . Solitaria is a deeply moving, intellectually stimulating, complex and fully realized novel..."– BC Bookworld
"A rivetting tale of sacrifice and obligation, of vision and revision, of vengeance, betrayal, and ultimately, redemption. Through the brilliantly quixotic voice of Piera, Gunn enlivens the Italy of the 1940s and deftly draws us into the complex, compelling story of la Solitaria. With a filmmaker's eye for sharp shifts in point of view and a master storyteller's ear for spoken and unspoken truths, Gunn keeps us wondering to the very end, Who in this family can we believe?" – Merilyn Simonds, author of The Holding
Faceless (Signature Editions, 2007)
"As a central metaphor, “faces” are an interesting one to explore, ripe with echoes of surface and depth, geography and biology, semantics and connotations…This is a book about conjoining memories to landscapes, spaces to letters, fusing poetic techniques to linear and lyric storytelling."- The Dansforth Review
"In the poems in Faceless, Genni Gunn explores the many masks worn and peeled away in attempts at formulating identity, influencing opinion and finding a place in vast, nullifying or unforgiving landscapes…”
Hungers (Raincoast Books, 2002)
“Gunn's wonderfully quirky and rigorous imagination, her unquenchable curiosity, her poet-passion for the plasticity of language, her knack for twinning grit and intelligence, are alive and kicking in Hungers..."
— The Globe & Mail
“Few contemporary writers can match Gunn in irony and searing characterization.”— The Toronto Star
"Gunn unfolds the story carefully, exposing the characters' mutual betrayals with the well-paced control of a strip-tease."
— Quill & Quire
“What is evident in [Hungers] is Gunn's craftsmanship and control.” - Uptown,
Tracing Iris (Raincoast Books,2001)
Translated into Italian
Made into a film, THE RIVERBANK
"Writing on many levels at once is a skill that Gunn draws on with great success . . . ” — subTerrain
“In her latest novel,TRACING IRIS . . . Gunn confirms her special skill for weaving complex narrative patterns." — Books in Canada
“Gunn is a skilled layerer of foundations . . . If one of the chief jobs of a novelist is to raise as many questions as she answers (and stimulate further reading), Gunn definitely achieves this . . . Tracing Iris digs deep. There’s little comic relief in this harrowing novel by a gifted West Coast writer.” — The Globe & Mail
Mating in Captivity (Quarry Press, 1993)
Translated into Italian
Finalist for the Gerald Lambert Award
"Genni Gunn's Mating in Captivity is a long self-documentary poetic cycle comprised largely of prose poems, with occasional poems in verse. Realism and surrealism alternate as the speaker confesses to the distances she has created between herself and others, and between her conscious life and her inner self..."
— Canadian Literature
"’Variations of Silence’ works especially well, with its combination of sharp images, sensual detail and emotion . . . Unified metaphor transforms this dense work into something resonant..."
— UBC Chronicle
On the Road (Oberon Press, 1991)
"Deftly using the first person limited, Gunn demonstrates again her acute sensitivity to language's potentialities and weaknesses in the communication of human desire tempered by pain...Gunn has her own style marked out very distinctly and successfully."
– University of Toronto Quarterly
"What Genni Gunn's terse, wry narratives have in common with Jack Kerouac's better known work of the same name is a knowledge that "the road" is not simplistically the road to freedom, but freedom itself. On The Road is a densely crafted book about love and illusion..." -– The Vancouver Sun
"Gunn's stories have a good back beat and lively, feminist syncopation." – The Globe & Mail
"The calibre of Gunn's writing is exceptional."
—The Windsor Star
Thrice Upon a Time (Quarry Press, 1990)
Finalist for Commonwealth Prize
"Thrice Upon a Time is a wildly inventive novel..." – The Ottawa Citizen
"There's a far-reaching imagination at work in this book.. - The Globe & Mail
"Genni Gunn's fine novel, THRICE UPON A TIME, is a creation of much originality, very successful in its newness, and well arranged" – University ofToronto Quarterly
“THRICE UPON A TIME is impressive in both craft and complexity." – Books in Canada
"The poet in Gunn transforms the terrain into a magical and memorable landscape." – Kingston's Alternative Bi-weekly
"... a beautifully written, many-layered novel."
-- The Whig-Standard
“Exploring intimate relationships through humour isn't new territory for Vancouver-based writer and translator Genni Gunn. In fact, she first penned Alternate Visions, a pungent take on love and alienation in a world gone VR - Virtual Reality - some 15 years ago. Perhaps the story of this new opera is fresh and biting because there's no pretence about it being a documentarist's take on the topic -- we're still in the realm of the fantastic." — Globe & Mail
"Alternate Visions is . . . entertaining "augmented opera that sports the extra novelty of being in both English and French . . . Amused as we are by the techno-trappings, what makes the show watchable is the familiar spectacle of two people messing up a potentially fulfilling relationship..." — Montreal Gazette
© 2023 Genni Gunn