Fiction writer, poet, and playwright J. J. Steinfeld’s latest book, Gregor Samsa Was Never in The Beatles, has been recently published by Ekstasis Editions. Gregor Samsa Was Never in The Beatles, J. J.’s twentieth book and thirteenth short story collection, is an eclectic and thought-provoking mix of 45 speculative fictions written between 1983 and 2019. These wide-ranging stories explore many of the themes and the psychological terrain, from the absurd to the existential, through the varied literary lenses of science fiction, the surreal, fantasy, horror, the Kafkaesque, and the otherworldly, which the author has been dealing with in his literary writing over the years as he grapples with the desire for meaning and sense in the human condition while confronting the lives of his fictional characters and their imagined habitations. As with his other short story collections, the author’s literary exploration of the past, present, and future leads the reader through a multitude of worlds and realities, from the darkly comic to the deeply tragic.
“For decades Steinfeld, one of Canada’s most accomplished writers of short fiction, at home with both the ordinary and the extraordinary aspects of life, has been publishing some of the most unusual and exceptional speculative stories around, and now, finally, they are collected together in one place. You won’t find anything quite like Gregor Samsa Was Never in The Beatles in all of Canadian fiction.”—Mark Sampson, author of The Slip, Sad Peninsula, and The Secrets Men Keep
J. J. Steinfeld lives hidden away in Charlottetown, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published 20 books: two novels, Our Hero in the Cradle of Confederation (1987) and Word Burials (2009), thirteen short story collections—The Apostate’s Tattoo (1983), Forms of Captivity and Escape (1988), Unmapped Dreams (1989), The Miraculous Hand and Other Stories (1991), Dancing at the Club Holocaust (1993), Disturbing Identities (1997), Should the Word Hell Be Capitalized? (1999), Anton Chekhov Was Never in Charlottetown (2000), Would You Hide Me? (2003), A Glass Shard and Memory (2010), Madhouses in Heaven, Castles in Hell (2015), and An Unauthorized Biography of Being (2016), and Gregor Samsa Was Never in The Beatles (2019)—and five poetry collections, An Affection for Precipices (2006), Misshapenness (2009), Identity Dreams and Memory Sounds (2014), Absurdity, Woe Is Me, Glory Be (2017), and A Visit to the Kafka Café (2018). J. J. was the 2003 recipient of the Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Literary Arts on Prince Edward Island.