In A Vain Thing, Tom Wayman offers four genre-crossing novellas that explore how vanity influences our most intimate moments no less than our deepest-held social and political beliefs and actions.
"Djakarta Now" follows a radical right-wing BC politician who uses a Vancouver press conference to spin his party's racism and place it on the verge of public respectability, despite his party's barely use of violence.
In "The Rock Eaters" a volunteer fire-fighter is hailed as a hero, albeit a reluctant one, for rescuing some out-of-this-world tourists from a blaze at an Oregon city's diner.
"Land Under the Snow" presents a mild-mannered optician tumbles through the snow while skiing and finds himself in a mysterious Viking village whose inhabitants teach him to see aspects of the himself he has neglected.
And "Love in the Afterlife" takes an eager West Coast writer to the Toronto CanLit scene, where he tries to find love and success, only to be confronted by ambitious freelancers, arrogant impresarios, and the moral dilemmas that accompany literary achievement.
Tom Wayman's more than fifteen collections of poetry have been widely honoured, including a nomination for the Governor General's Literary Award. He has taught in both mainstream and alternative writing programs, and served as writer in residence at a number of universities. In winter 2007 he was the Fulbright Visiting Chair in creative writing at Arizona State University. He teaches at the University of Calgary and divides his time between Calgary and his estate in the Selkirk Mountains of southeastern British Columbia.