Steeped in skepticism, the stories in Michael Bryson's first collection nonetheless radiate a deep hope. An incarcerated juvenile is glad for time to think. A street kid running from an abusive past finds comfort in a warm, safe bed. A cafe waitress contemplates the violent death of a stranger and moves on in her life with renewed vigour.
The stories echo writers of an earlier age, writers like Ernest Hemingway and Robert Frost, who also integrated light and darkness in their visions of the tortures of everyday life. Byson's stories focus on common human problems, struggles all people share. The stories penetrate the abstractions and deep irony of our mass media culture which threaten to swamp our connection to our deepest emotions. Fear. Hurt. Hope. Confusion. Anger. Desire. Thirteen Shades of Black and White touches all of these eternal hot buttons, revealing again that conflicting, unreconcilable needs form the foundation of the human heart.
Michael Bryson lives in Toronto, Canada. He has written four books of short stories and 20 years worth of book reviews. He received his degree in English at the University of Waterloo. After spending two years in Saskatoon, he returned to Toronto to complete his MA in English In 1999, he founded the online literary magazine, The Danforth Review and currently blogs at The Underground Book Club and at NLD in Ontario.