Author: Steffanie Ling

138 pages, perfect-bound, letterpress cover, 5 x 6.75 inches
Black Cheque Press, August 2016
Second Edition of 250

Printed and bound at Publication Studio Vancouver.

Edited by Jacquelyn Ross.

“Somehow, the idea of watching him, a sexy sports car, only emphasized the straightforwardness of mastery. A matter of hitting notes, a grasp of physique.”

In sixteen short stories punctuated by smoke breaks, writer and critic Steffanie Ling ponders questions of art and subsistence while relating her comically mundane misadventures alongside a band of struggling twenty-something painters, editors and merchandisers. Touching on topics like taste, mastery, straight white males and sparkling water—and in conversations in galleries and artist’s studios, on busses and park benches—these are concise, poignant stories that show a general disregard for one’s health. Against the languor of art, sarcasm and late capitalism, the gesture of the shared smoke may just be a small, but hopeful, offering of community.

About the Author:
Steffanie Ling said she would quit smoking after this book was published. Her essays, poems and criticism about contemporary art, photography, cinema, literature, professional wrestling, and smoking have appeared in print and online in Canada, the United States and Europe. She has published one book of minimal poems, Cuts of Thin Meat (Spare Room, 2015). This is her first book of prose.

About the Publisher:
Blank Cheque is a small press based in Vancouver that is dedicated to the publication of art writing in its many forms. This includes but is not limited to plotless fiction, eccentric art criticism, messy philosophical treatises, urgent poetics, esoteric writing by artists, and book projects that otherwise run parallel to artists' practices.

Conceived while daydreaming in an overpriced shoe store, the series is edited by Jacquelyn Zong-Li Ross and produced in living rooms, studios, and print shops, with the help of friends.