“What a strange surprising delight this collection was… at once untenable and grotesquely beautiful.”
– Heather O’Neill, author of When We Lost Our Heads
WINNER of the 2022 ReLit Awards
Finalist for the 2022 Trillium Book Awards
A Gothic collection of stories featuring carnivorous beavers, art-eaters, and family intrigue, for fans of Alice Munro and Shirley Jackson
The small southern Ontario town known as The Pump lies at the crossroads of this world’s violence—a tainted water supply, an apathetic municipal government, the Gothic decay of rural domesticity—and another’s.
In Brooman’s interconnected stories, no one is immune to The Pump’s sacrificial games. Lighthouse dwellers, Boy Scouts, queer church camp leaders, love-sick and sick-sick writers, nine-year-old hunters, art-eaters—each must navigate the swamp of their own morality while living on land that is always slowly (and sometimes very quickly) killing them.
PRAISE FOR THE PUMP
"[Hegele] simultaneously locates their stories within a tradition and explodes that tradition for future practitioners."
– Toronto Star
"The Pump opens the door to a haunted world that is not easily forgettable"
– Quill & Quire
"[Hegele's] debut collection of short fiction instantly cements the non-binary writer as a name to watch"
"A strange and satisfying debut which, despite its nightmarish magic, manages to capture something terrifyingly real"
– The Miramichi Reader
"Nightmarish and yet somehow fantastical, [The Pump] explores the question of morality in a town that represents the world at its most baldly violent"
– THIS Magazine
“If you left your small hometown because you were “different” – gay or trans in particular – you will see yourself in this smart, authentic and beautifully written book. If you didn’t, you will be spellbound nonetheless.”
– Andrew Dobson
“[Hegele's] remarkably self-assured voice remains singular, authentic and wry. The Pump will stay with you, leaving its taste in your mouth: dread and mossy yellow water.”
– Broken Pencil
"[Hegele] has woven an inescapable, ferocious dream of a book. Good luck getting out"
– John Elizabeth Stintzi, author of My Volcano
"This is horror in broad daylight. These are the living ghosts that haunt so many of us who grew up here.”
– Jia Qing Wilson-Yang, Lambda Award-winning Author of Small Beauty
"Like nothing I’ve ever read before, these killer beavers, strange diseases, and infectious waters wouldn’t leave my head and drew me back to their world again and again. If only I blurbed delightfully weird books like this for the rest of my life, I’d be happy.”
– Jess Taylor, author of Pauls and Just Pervs
"I don’t what is more terrifying: that The Pump exists, or that here, in this wretched, sinking place, you can find something that you desperately love, something that you want to survive. The Pump is an astonishing debut collection from a writer who is just warming up.”
– Tom Cull, author of Bad Animals
"Tadpoles, minnows, foals, and chameleons. These are some of the creatures that appear in Sydney Hegele's debut poetry chapbook, The Last Thing I Will See Before I Die, a collection that sings of rebirth and change through language and the act of naming—of becoming. Full of startling images and rushes of music, they write of the repercussions of violence as “rotting lunch / in a wet paper bag” while simultaneously inviting the reader into the closeness of bed, where love “lets us / rest.” Vibrant and unforgettable, these poems are a celebration of the act of (re)creation."
—Jenny Berkel, author of Grease Dogs
"Visceral and fearless. The Last Thing I Will See Before I Die unflinchingly dissects its own body. Hegele slices cross-sections of past and present, pulls the meat apart before the reader and asks what it means to be seen."
—Fawn Parker, author of What We Both Know