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Fiction / Family Life > Last Woman

A Canadian Author Canadian Read

Last Woman: Stories

By Carleigh Baker

Where to buy

Publish Date

March 05, 2024


Fiction / Short Stories
Fiction / Indigenous


From one of the country’s most celebrated new writers, a blistering collection of short fiction that is bracingly relevant, playfully irreverent, and absolutely unforgettable.

There’s a hole in the ozone layer. Are teenage girls to blame? 

Floods and wildfires, toxic culture, billionaires in outer space, or a purse-related disaster while on mushrooms—in today’s hellscape world, there’s no shortage of things to worry about. Last Woman, the new collection of short fiction by award-winning author Carleigh Baker, wants you to know that you’re not alone. In these 13 brilliant new stories, Baker and her perfectly-drawn characters are here for you—in fact, they’re just as worried and weirded-out as everyone else.
A woman’s dream of poetic solitude turns out to be a recipe for loneliness. A retiree is convinced that his silence is the only thing that will prevent a deadly sinkhole. An emerging academic wakes up and chooses institutional violence. A young woman finds sisterhood in a strange fertility ritual, and an enigmatic empath is on a cleanse. Baker’s characters are both wildly misguided and a product of the misguided times in which we live. Through them we see our world askew and skewered—and, perhaps, we can begin to see it anew.

Carleigh Baker’s signature style is irreverent, but her heart is true—these stories delve into fear for the future, intergenerational misunderstandings, and the complexities of belonging with sharp wit and boundless empathy. With equal parts compassion and critique, she brings her clear-eyed attention to bear on our world, and the results are hilarious, heartbreaking, and startling in their freshness.
CARLEIGH BAKER is an author and teacher of nêhiyaw âpihtawikosisân and European descent. Born and raised on Stó:lō territory, she currently lives on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwəta (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.
Her debut story collection, Bad Endings (Anvil Press, 2017), won the City of Vancouver Book Award, and was also a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and the Emerging Indigenous Voices Award for fiction.

ISBN: 9780771004148
Format: Paperback
Pages: 208
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Published: March 05, 2024

“Carleigh Baker’s Last Woman is a knockout. These fifteen stories are probing contemplations on technology, the climate crisis, childhood, adulthood, parenthood, dreams, identity, creativity, and those staggering moments when the uncanny burbles up through the cracks of everyday experience. I gulped these pages in one sitting, but their insights will linger for years to come.”

—Michael Christie, author of Greenwood

“Carleigh Baker’s Last Woman is a satirical, energetic look at our messed-up world. The stories in this collection ask original, surprising what-if questions, exploring disasters small and large, personal and public, and the past, present, and future of this planet—and beyond. I’m so impressed with Baker’s ability to craft such a range of voices, by turns funny and vulnerable and exuberant and idiosyncratic. These stories are inventive, a little weird, and very, very cool.”

—Shashi Bhat, author of The Most Precious Substance on Earth

“Incisive and thought-provoking tales, with quirky characters and richly imaginative plots.”