One Day It Happens is an eclectic collection of short stories, which deal in myriad forms with communication or lack thereof in the lives of the characters. One of the universal factors in human existence is the need to connect with one another. When these characters fail to do so, it is the result of fear, of loneliness, of violence, of impending death. Sometimes they succeed in spite of everything to reach a place of insight and understanding, usually in unexpected ways and to their own surprise.
“These are lucid, passionate stories about contemporary urban characters who enjoy friendships, go to cottages and plays, write, paint, travel until “one day it happens”: their lives are torn by crisis, by illness, death, memory of horrors—or by the realization that freedom is theirs, if they can only enter the moment. Mary Lou Dickinson writes with strength and wisdom.”
—Elizabeth Greene, Associate Professor, Queen’s University and Editor of We Who Can Fly: Poems, Essays, Memories in Honour of Adele Wiseman
“A refreshing wisdom and breadth of experience informs all of Mary Lou Dickinson’s stories in One Day It Happens, an experience rich with compassion, aching poignancy, and a dark sense of humour. Dickinson exposes wasted and empty years, conflicted and lonely characters, with men and women who seem to be continually at cross purposes. A tension of opposites is at play here, of wanting to live life to the fullest, though always with the awareness of illness and death hovering at its periphery. Dickinson never skims the surface of things; she tackles the hard subjects—mental illness, AIDS, child abduction—with surprising candor and empathy. It takes an assured writer to slip so organically from voice to voice, regardless of gender or age, with sharply-observed moments at every turn. Dickinson is such a writer, and we emerge uplifted for it.”
—Myna Wallin, author of A Thousand Profane Pieces
“The stories in One Day It Happens speak to the truths about ordinary people’s lives as they deal with loneliness, abuse, aging, loss and death. Mary Lou Dickinson shows good insight into her characters and her stories have a refreshing sense of honesty and forthrightness that make this volume a memorable read.”
—Joy Kogawa, author of Obasan, The Rain Ascends, and Emily Kato.