“The most memorable stories work with the formula but have added depth. Mixing satiric comedy with pathos, the married dad in “Raccoons” pretends to search the garage for the titular pest. In fact he is digging for sex tapes—about which a furious woman (an affair that flamed out) has been making threatening phone calls, while he strives to maintain the illusion of being nothing but a loving husband and father.”
What are you hiding from the loved ones in your life?
This is the question that Toronto writer Russell Smith explores in the stories of his new collection, Confidence. There are hidden sexual yearnings, memories of lost loves and dreams of babies and other lives that could have been lived. Everyone’s got a secret and they’re all struggling to keep those secrets hidden even as their lives fall apart, from a harried father trying to get a sex tape back to an ex-girlfriend before his wife finds out in “Raccoons” to a husband planning an amateur voyeurism site behind his wife’s back in “Gentrification.”
Everybody is hiding something, says Canadian author Russell Smith. Some secrets are enormous, others just embarrassing — and far too many are a threat to long-term, committed relationships.
For 20 years, the writer has been known for sharp and funny stories about the sex lives and naughty habits of the city’s upper crust. His latest, Confidence, zeroes in on the private lives of the aging downtown Toronto elite.
Smith joins Shad to talk shame, secrecy and his own missteps.
“People want everything at once. They want their domestic life, and they also want their wild life,” he says.
q: Do you harbour a secret that’s easier to keep than to share? Do you agree with Smith that everyone — even the open books among us — have hidden chapters?