Short story collection knows secret ingredient

Salt in the Wounds
by Mark Blagrave
$21.95, paperback, 288 pp.
Cormorant Books, August 2014

Blank white book w/pathMark Blagrave’s short story collection Salt In The Wounds knows the secret ingredient: salt. It’s a complex mineral. Salt heals, cleanses, accents, harms and restores.

In these 12 stories, all of Blagrave’s characters struggle with their mental and physical health. It is within their inability to communicate the author artfully focuses and meditates on the mineral that both delights palates and, if taken in excess, ruins meals and bodies.

Several of the story titles make note of the collection’s theme: “Salt in the Wounds”, “Love You Like Salt”, and “Spilling the Salt”. In “Rupert and Sophia”, the two linger in longing over a salt cellar. Blagrave doesn’t hit readers over the head with his salt metaphors and insights; in fact, he sprinkles to perfect taste.

In the title story he writes, “The part that has disappeared, that is the sulfur, the spirit. What is left behind, the ash, is the salt, the body.”

While salt can enhance, it can also distract, and moreover, if it can’t be tasted, like Claire in “Ageusia,” who is dating Antoine, a chef, it can be the sign of a much larger issue.

Salt in the Wounds
by Mark Blagrave
$21.95, paperback, 288 pp.
Cormorant Books, August 2014


Written By

Shannon Webb-Campbell is a mixed Indigenous (Mi’kmaq) settler poet, writer, and critic. Her books include: Still No Word (Breakwater 2015), the recipient of Eagle Canada’s Out in Print Award, and I Am A Body of Land (Book*hug 2018). Shannon holds a MFA in Creative Writing from University of British Columbia, and is currently completing a MA in English Literature at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. She is the editor of Visual Arts News Magazine, and currently lives in Montreal.

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