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“I’m obsessed with secrets because that’s where I think story comes from. That’s where drama comes from, but I also think that everybody does have a secret.”

Russell Smith’s writing is known for pulling no punches when it comes to taking digs at the darker side of urban life, something he says comes from a complex love-hate relationship he has with city life.

“The countryside is terribly boring to me. I like density. I think it’s because I didn’t grow up in a big city,” Smith, who grew up in Halifax, told The Early Edition’s Rick Cluff.

“I still feel a bit of wonder and marvel when I walk down the street on a Sunday afternoon and it’s packed with people — that’s something I always missed growing up.

Smith’s latest book, Confidence, is a collection of short stories that shows a darker side of urban dwellers, including mommy bloggers, PhD students, and experimental filmmakers, but he said people shouldn’t take offence to how they are portrayed.

“Satire always works that way. Satire is always making fun of something that a person comes from, a scene that a person knows, is an insider in, and that person is making fun of something that that person really, really loves.”  To listen to the whole podcast CLICK here.

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An anthropologist of the urbane, top of his game & delicious darkness, sharp and sultry; he isn’t afraid to say it (reviews)

“Whatever the reason, Confidence finds Smith at the top of his game.” — Winnipeg Free Press

“It’s a delicious darkness that pervades Russell Smith’s latest short story collection, Confidence”THIS magazine

“This is not the stodgy CanLit you were assigned in school – Russell Smith’s writing is sharp and sultry, and these characters are even more messed up than we fear we are. But below the hip, fractured surface of the people who populate these stories, there’s a longing for true connection, and flashes of vulnerability that will break your heart in the best way.”W Network

“Smith is typically referred to as a satirist, though I think his balance of contempt and compassion is too nuanced for such categorization. He plumbs the psyches of the seemingly superficial in frequently funny prose that exudes an understanding of their anxieties about ambition, class, stature and their own desirability. Smith’s credentials in this milieu are impeccable.” The Globe and Mail

“His works cover sex, prostitution, drugs and a bitingly satiric look at Toronto society. He isn’t afraid to say it like it is, a trait hard to come by for writers these days who fear inevitable online backlash in comments, reviews, et al.”Post City Toronto