Whether writing about the dilemma of a two-headed man or the shock of a woman who discovers she has married a transsexual, Gowdy treats the strange and unusual with profound compassion and exposes the true nature of our shifting moral ground.

Globe & Mail and other Canadian bestseller lists throughout 1992–93.
On bestseller lists in Germany throughout 1993–94.
A Trillium Book Award Finalist
Winner of The Torgi Prize
Winner of Canadian Fiction’s Contributor’s Prize
Kissed, based on the title story, released as a major motion picture.
A Feeling Called Glory, based on “Presbyterian Crosswalk,” released as a short feature.
“The Two-Headed Man” dramatized for Bravo! Television.

critical acclaim

We So Seldom Look on Love made me aware of Gowdy’s fierce intelligence, her intensity posing as comedy, and her lovely attention to the hidden illumination of the universe.”
The Boston Globe

“Barbara Gowdy’s arresting stories of devotion, affection and obsession explore varieties of love hitherto left virtually untouched by others. The effect is both astonishing and unnerving. She has impressive gifts and formidable talent…. An extraordinary showcase for a daring writer.”
The Los Angeles Times

“An impressive accomplishment.”

“Barbara Gowdy never throws her reader the expected pitch in any of these eight haunting, beguiling efforts, particularly ‘Presbyterian Crosswalk,’ one of the most memorable coming-of-age stories in years.”
L.A. Reader’s Monthly Book Supplement

“Barbara Gowdy has an utterly strange and wildly fertile imagination. Her crafted, delicate prose has the disarming effect of making even the weirdest character seem perfectly normal and worthy of empathy. Highly amusing, though sometimes poignant and invariably ironic, this is an eminently readable selection of tales.”
The Times/UK

“Original and daring. These eight stories are surgically painful and precise, yet they lead to an enlarged, embracing sense of life. This is fiction that vivifies.”
The Independent on Sunday

“Gowdy’s humour is macabre, her writing spare and shocking, but its very perversity demands that the reader see humanity in the deformed.”
The Sunday Times

“Most of these stories contain as many events as the average novel but Gowdy’s flexible, energetic prose pulls everything into shape and they never sprawl. It’s hard to convey the feeling of sheer excitement that builds up as the book progresses. Each story is a journey into a new way of seeing. Gowdy can turn the strange into wonderful in very few words.”
The Independent

“Written with uncanny insight.”

“Shocking, funny, and beautiful. There are so many good things to say about this writer, with her unencumbered prose, her density of ideas, her joyous weirdness.”
New Statesman & Society

“A writer now emerging as one of Canada’s most accomplished and outrageous. We So Seldom Look on Love will only deepen her reputation for fine technique and alarming content.”
The Globe and Mail

“Gowdy’s stunning collection of short stories plants her firmly in the constellation of Canada’s bright literary lights. Her insatiable curiosity, her candor and cool wit emerge like chrysalides.”
The Montreal Gazette

“Wonderful and unsettling.”
Saturday Night Magazine

“What makes Gowdy so gifted is her ability to come across as a sympathetic chronicler of her often bizarre characters, not by preaching the virtues of sympathy but by drawing out, often with uncanny timing and black humour, the humanity of the misfit.”
Maclean’s Magazine

We So Seldom Look on Love is witty and incredibly well written. Intellectually gutsy, artistically adventuresome, it takes your breath away. I would read anything she published.”
CBC Radio

We So Seldom Look on Love tests our capacity for understanding what it means to be alive and capable of feeling in the late twentieth century.”
The Vancouver Sun

“Readers who take the plunge will emerge breathless and refreshed.”
Books in Canada

“Rarely has a story collection combined such outrageous images with such sureness of technique and gentle humour. It’s brilliant.”
Quill & Quire

“Not your average Canadian fiction writer, God bless her. That unhealthy appetite for the bizarre is actually an instrument that quietly opens windows of perception.”
Toronto Life Magazine

“A literary discovery from Canada.”
Weinerin/Lebensart Bucher

“A great feat.”
Bremer, Book of the Month

“Wonderful. Remarkable.”
Kultur Einblick

“Little masterpieces.”
Szene Hamburg

“What Barbara Gowdy has succeeded in doing in these eight stories borders on literary witchcraft. The book demands to be read line by line; otherwise, its superior qualities, which are often made up of unlikely turns, are not revealed.”
Suddeutsche Zeitung

“Each of the stories begins relatively harmlessly, then takes your breath away.”
Buch Journal

“Gowdy can not only look undauntingly, but she can write remarkably well. She transforms our desire for sensation into fascinating participation, yes, into identification with her characters.”
Kultur Aktuell

“The Canadian author has preserved a wonder, a persistent, curious look.”
Frankfurter Rundschau

“A collection of fascinating stories, full of dark beauty. Shocking, bizarre and poetic.”

“With unbelievable ease Barbara Gowdy opens up the realms of the imagination, which have seldom been brought to paper…. We So Seldom Look on Love is a fascinating book.”
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