Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)– It’s Worth It!

2023 opened as the year of the short story. Whether it will last or not I have no idea but so far the complications I have consumed have been excellent and now I get to add Morgan Talty’s “Night of the Living Rez” to my ongoing list of excellent short story compilations.

Talty is an indigenous Canadian writer whose short stories offer vignettes of life for a series of characters. Multiple stories throughout the compilation use the same characters which is a unique artistic choice and not one I have seen in a short story compilation before, but which I found surprisingly intriguing. The reader is dropped into these profound, poignant and often chaotic moments in the lives of his characters. There is a unveiled quality to Taltyโ€™s writing that leaves the story completed even as the reader is left longing for more. 

As in all compilations some stories connected more deeply than others, but as a whole each story held its own and offered this white woman an opportunity to encounter a world full of history, trauma and relationships entirely different from my own. I was taken to these moments in time with the characters and offered the grace of a profound moment, memory, story from their lives. Some funny, others tragic and a few absolutely gut wrenching. 

This compilation is absolutely worth your time and energy. Whether you are new to short stories or not, you will find Taltyโ€™s writing accessible and authentic. These are some great little stories that I imagine will stick with you as some of them have stuck with me.

Happy Reading!

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