Chad Pelley’s Four-Letter Words, his collection of award-winning short stories, presents us with characters haunted by one four-letter word or another: love, hate, lust, or loss. A father drives across the island hoping to find his missing son, a hitman considers the life of his female victim while watching her through his scope, a lonely man frequents hospital emergency rooms to diagnose the pain of others, and another clings to a buoy at sea. Whether documenting the ways in which we become obsessed with our current situation or our fascination with the lives we could have lived, these stories, told in Pelley’s decidedly contemporary style, form unique portraits of how we are led astray and how we often find ourselves at a crossroads, uncertain and entirely lost.
Chad Pelley’s fiction has been recognized by more than a dozen literary awards. His debut novel, Away from Everywhere, was a Coles bestseller, won the NLAC’s CBC Emerging Artist award, and was shortlisted for both the ReLit and CAA Emerging Writer awards, and a film adaptation starring Jason Priestley and Shawn Doyle was filmed in 2015. His second novel, Every Little Thing, was shortlisted for the ReLit Award, and Canada Reads winner Lisa Moore called it “Stylistically fresh and can’t-put-it-down compelling.” He has appeared alongside acclaimed authors at festivals such as IFOA,Vancouver Writers’ Festival, and Writers at Woody Point. His short fiction has won several awards, and has been published in anthologies, textbooks, and journals. He’s taught creative writing at Memorial University, founded Salty Ink.com, and has written for Quill & Quire, The National Post, Globe and Mail, the Telegraph-Journal, and Atlantic Books Today. He is currently the founding editor of The Overcast: Newfoundland’s Alternative Newspaper.