Wade Bell is the author of three well received books of fiction from Guernica Editions: Tracie's Revenge, No Place Fit for a Child, and A Destroyer of Compasses.
His work is found in over fifty literary magazines and anthologies in Canada, Japan, Denmark, Italy, the U.S. and Spain.
Robert Hilles, Governor-General of Canada award winning poet and novelist
"In this stunning book, Wade Bell writes on the level of Raymond Carver and Roberto Bolaño. He knows exactly what to leave out to make a short story great. This is a book everyone who loves great fiction and short stories will want to read. He is the master of endings and like Alice Munro keeps us guessing until the final sentence. These are stories to dwell on and ravish in. Read just one and you will be hooked!"
Visions of Bolaño
It is spring, wet, the countryside green. The train’s windows are opaque sheets of emerald rainwater. He senses me staring and glances over. He is gaunt, in his forties. His sculpted features are ragged, more Giacometti than Leonardo. Behind wire rim glasses are eyes of a fanatic, or addict…
This four-story fiction chapbook is now out from above/ground press. The title story, Visions of Bolaño, was first published in The Typescript. Contact Wade to order your signed copy here.
A creative writer is a designer of destinies.
& Other Stories
A classic short fiction writer, Wade Bell lets his characters do the talking for him, electing to stay in the background. His style is simple but he's not afraid to pry open the heart of a character and expose it for all the world to see. Bell's latest collection features a young wife who deliberately sets up her husband to kill or be killed; a struggling artist who is picked up by a mysterious six-foot woman at a bar; a girlfriend called Jupiter Moon; and a drill instructor who gets his kicks ordering a seven-year-old to march. Contact Wade to order your signed copy here.
No Place Fit for a Child
The accomplished stories found in this book take the reader from Cuba to the Yukon, from a parched landscape in Canada to the cool streets of southern Spain, from Toronto to the Rockies, and from the narrowing world of the dying to the wondrous expanse of a child’s imagination. Uncannily adept at transporting his audience, Wade Bell’s collection offers a satisfying depth of experience (Guernica Editions). Contact Wade to order your signed copy here.
A Destroyer of
Sometimes lyrical, sometimes tough, these stories deal with the foibles and frailties of acutely drawn characters pursuing freedom, love, beauty and adventure amidst the stark realities of life, whether at the end of a dictatorship in Spain, on an exotic Mediterranean island or as a Spanish bride-to-be first encountering Canada. Frank, provocative and haunting, these pieces range from dark comedy to quirky, uncertain romance to edgy thriller. The writing is vivid, sensual and contemporary. Contact Wade to order your signed copy here.
"From the first paragraph...Wade Bell's authenticity and artistry carried me through the darkness and light towards a crescendo in two brilliant final stories. Bell has been compared to Carver and Munro. But his gift is unique, starting with his hard-earned authenticity, and his mastery of the craft, especially of the classic short story. Although some stories are as subversive as those of the Beat writers... Bell writes women vividly, often beautifully, from their fashions to their dark fantasies, from young girls to mature women, without romanticizing or demonizing. He writes sagely about desire and is funny and flirty too. Bell's a smooth operator; never crude, always classy. He is an artist and as fine a writer as we've seen in a long time" (Bruce Hunter, Freefall, Fall 2003).
Nowhere to go, nothing to do, no one to see, dreaming of you.
Keroac and Wolfe
Aug 4, 2022
In: The Typescript
Dusty. Not the day, March 3, 1976, because there’s been a light rain. It’s my mind. I woke with images of empty North American streets taken over by unstoppable swirls of suffocating dust devils. It’s a recurring dream though sometimes the dust devils are tumbleweeds. Never nice.
Here in the village of Vulpellach, in Gerona province, Baix Ampurdan, Catalonia, Spain, it tries to be spring. But the heat could snap like a thread and humid cold slip down from the Pyrenees on a mean wind and land in my head as depression.
I realize I’m homesick. Not for a place, exactly. More for the life that unrolled for me there... Read more at The Typescript.
Father and Son
Sometime in the '90s...
A lovely two-lane California blacktop parallels the Arizona border. I was driving my father home. Arizona, California, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Alberta.
Some days earlier, on the tenth of March, he'd called me. His breathing was labored, his voice high-pitched and edged with fear. Twice that day he visited a hospital emergency department in Phoenix. The first time they gave him a prescription. Experiencing no relief, he went back. The prescription was wrong.
He'd had periodic breathing problems for years. In Edmonton, he was his doctor's longest living open heart surgery patient, undergoing the operation 12 years ago.
He was having a panic attack. I calmed him the best I could and heard his breathing return to normal as I answered Yes to his question: Could I fly down and drive him home in his car?
Feb. 1, 2021
In: The Typescript
Margarita’s morning colours were amber, topaz and tangerine. Donning a broad-brimmed floppy hat, she went outside to sit in a shaded part of the villa’s garden. Leo approached her. Could he talk to her for a minute?
Margarita’s villa was on the Costa Brava, the Wild Mediterranean coast between Barcelona and the French border. It was a warm spring day in 1978.
Pointing to a chaise longue, she suggested he bring it closer to her. He did and placed it so that when he sat facing her, she was framed by rose vines that clung to the whitewashed garden wall and again by twin palm trees on the other side of it.
“Selfine mentioned that you were forced to abandon your singing career,” Leo began. “She said it was an interesting story.”
“She told me you’re a writer,” Margarita said. “Are you the kind that fiddles with facts until they turn into fiction?”
They exchanged small smiles. “I try not to,” he said.
Also in The Typescript
Time drips by, hour by hour, and then it’s gone.
Kennedy and My Friend
In: Lotus Eater
Why He Hasn't Been Around
Moody Street Irregulars
A Jack Kerouac Newsletter.
From Immigration On
The Road Home: New Stories from Alberta Writers by Fred Stenson