Gordon Sombrowski and Angie Abdou talked about Sombrowski’s new book, What Narcissus Saw, at the official Fernie launch of the Fernie-inspired collection of short fiction. Pictured at Park Place Lodge, Fernie, on Dec. 7 2021. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Gordon Sombrowski and Angie Abdou talked about Sombrowski’s new book, What Narcissus Saw, at the official Fernie launch of the Fernie-inspired collection of short fiction. Pictured at Park Place Lodge, Fernie, on Dec. 7 2021. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Fernie author officially launches book of short, Fernie-inspired fiction

Gordon Sombrowski launched his book What Narcissus Saw in Fernie on Dec. 7

It was almost a full house at the official Fernie launch of local author, Gordon Sombrowski’s second collection of short fiction.

‘What Narcissus Saw’ is a collection of short stories inspired by Fernie that tackle dilemmas and scenarios encountered in the modern, changing world that is a tourism town.

At the launch in Fernie on Dec. 7 2021 at Park Place Lodge, Sombrowski and fellow Fernie author Angie Abdou discussed the particulars of inspiration, the challenges of having time to write at all, the power of the short stories as a form of literature and where authors can draw on and write about lived experiences without having lived them themselves.

The book, which is available at Polar Peek bookstore in Fernie (Sombrowski encouraged any avid readers hoping to get their hands on a copy to do so through local, independent bookstores), was never a sure thing for 2021, according to Sombrowski.

“We didn’t think we were going to be able to launch it this year,” he said, explaining that a paper shortage and supply chain issues meant he was expecting to be doing the rounds promoting it in 2022 instead. But, as luck had it, he got the call they were printed, with with looser pandemic restrictions, an in-person gathering was possible.

“We went from not being able to do anything to gathering here together,” he said.

During the discussion, Abdou noted that in reading the book, she found herself forgetting Gordon Sombrowski was the author, “because I wondered how he could know what he was writing about,” she joked, commending him on his ability to write about points of view and experiences other than his own.

On the medium that is short stories, Sombrowski said that he found that many novels (and indeed longer works that he himself wrote) could be condensed down into a short story with a harder punch.

That form of literature after all, was easier to “get your hands around” in the modern world with all the distractions going on, he said.

A full recording of the conversation between Sombrowski and Abdou is available on Gordon Sombrowski’s author Facebook page. The book, What Narcissus Saw, is available at Polar Peek bookstore. It is a follow to his first short story collection, What Echo Heard, released in 2011.

READ MORE: Local author releases second book of short fiction inspired by Fernie



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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