Thirteen Shells

House of Anansi
Paperback | 320 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77089-987-2
CAD $19.95

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Thirteen Shells

Spanning the late 1970s to the late 1980s, Nadia Bozak’s thirteen stories are narrated from the perspective of Shell, the only child of bohemian artisans determined to live off their handicrafts and uphold a left-wing lifestyle. At the age of five, Shell’s world is transformed when the family moves into a new house, where she grows up. Over time, she gradually trades her unconventional upbringing for junk food, rock music, and boys. All the while, Shell quietly watches her parents’ loveless marriage fall apart and learns to survive divorce, weight gain, heartache, and first love.

A funny, sensitive portrayal of the innocence and uncertainty of childhood and adolescence, Thirteen Shells is a true-to-life collection that is as unforgettable as it is poignant.

Reviews for Thirteen Shells

With humour and heartbreak, these exquisite stories capture the joys and deceptions of growing up. Bozak’s unflinching prose is gritty and golden, piercing and profound. A totally captivating read.

Nina Berkhout, author of Gallery of Lost Species

Thirteen Shells is a smart, tender story of growing up. It will make you want to dig out your scrapbook or keepsake box and go over all your old memories, the more poignant the better. Our lives come back to us in stories like these, polished shells strung on a cord, the whole as meaningful as all its parts.

Lynn Thomson, author of Birding with Yeats

Unflinching and forgiving, sentimental and unsparing. Nadia Bozak writes straight to the heart of girlhood, where secrets are both awkward and empowering, as childhood’s magic gives way to the discomfort of adolescence and a young woman comes into her own. Thirteen Shells is a beautifully written book.


Teva Harrison, author of In-Between Days