Lori Hahnel

$ 7.99$ 21.95


$ 7.99$ 21.95
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The stories in Vermin span from the 1840s to present, and are linked by themes of loss, longing and music: a restaurant server in Tofino restaurant reflects on the nature of men in her past and present; a woman prepares to marry a brooding artist unpopular with both her parents and her small town community; a new homeowner has strange encounters with a previous owner struggling to let go. Stories in this collection have appeared in Joyland, The Saturday Evening Post, Room, The Antigonish Review and other journals and anthologies.


WINNER Alberta Literary Award for Short Story Collection

A Calgary bestseller!

Nominated for the High Plains book award, short story category! 

Shortlisted for the 2021 Fred Kerner Book Award!

Jury Commendation for the Glengarry Book Award!


Praise for Lori Hahnel’s Nothing Sacred

Hahnel’s short stories bestow depth and grace on characters that on the outside might seem mired in mundanity. The repercussions of our obsessions – whether they be things, relationships or events – are captured vividly in this intimate and surprising collection.” – Alberta Views

Lori Hahnel’s Nothing Sacred offers a wide variety of topics and people, and each is appealing in its delivery — something like a good song.” – Prairie Fire

Lori Hahnel

Lori Hahnel

Lori Hahnel is the author of two novels, Love Minus Zero and After You’ve Gone, as well as a story collection, Nothing Sacred, which was shortlisted for an Alberta Literary Award. Her work has been nominated for the Journey Prize three times and has appeared in over forty publications in North America, Australia and the U.K. Her credits include CBC Radio, The Fiddlehead, Joyland and The Saturday Evening Post. Lori teaches creative writing in Calgary.

Additional information

Weight 0.159 kg
Dimensions 12.7 × 1.27 × 20.32 cm

Epub, Kindle, Paperback, Pre-order paperback

Don’t miss Lori Hahnell reading from Vermin as part of OFF THE SHELF: THE GROUP OF FIVE LIVE, a launch of books released during the pandemic in Calgary (in person) on September 19. More information HERE.


Featured on 49th Shelf: Stunning Short Story Collections in 2020


Listen to Angie Abdou review Vermin on Daybreak Alberta with Russell Bowers!


“The heartache in Vermin is composed with an honesty about women’s lives and how often a woman’s circumstances can be buffeted by patriarchy, sexism, or a manipulative man who didn’t deserve her trust.”Freefall


These are well-made stories that offer convincingly conflicted characters. A hospitable, entertaining read.” – Alberta Views


…part of the strength in Hahnel’s often funny, occasionally sad and always intriguing collection is that they take readers in all sorts of directions.” – Calgary Herald


“Vermin is an immersive collection of short stories that demonstrate a notable breadth of talented writing.” – Anne Logan, I’ve Read This


Hahnel is keenly aware of the daily suffering of life, and once in a while, of the sought-for moments of forgetfulness of a troubled place, or of a desperate, short-lived bliss. But there are no lyric flights here, the prose is unadorned, straight-forward and clear, what is unsaid often more important than what is, and her characters are on the move, often aimlessly, from one unsatisfactory situation to another, while their friends become drifters and vanish and reappear and vanish again. These are touching, gentle stories about the lives of women and girls who aren’t lucky in their beginnings or backgrounds, nor particularly wise, and yet, their stories, with their rare and tiny triumphs, resonate.” – Sharon Butala, author of Season of Fury and Wonder


With remarkable range, Lori Hahnel captures women who experience disappointment and alienation, heartbreak and oppression. The delight of the collection comes in the way Hahnel’s fully realized protagonists — a lively cast of outsiders and rebels — continue, despite life’s adversity, to find the strength to live authentically. VERMIN is a treasure from one of Alberta’s bright lights.” – Angie Abdou, author of Home Ice: Reflections of a Reluctant Hockey Mom


“In these stories, Lori Hahnel reimagines the subject of love. In the time of parasites her flawed and transient characters attempt to find coherence in their lives. Hahnel never overstays or overplays. With the sure hand and clear eye of a surgeon, she cuts to the quick, dissects and reveals moments of truth in the lies people tell each other and in the lies they tell themselves. Writing with classical dispassion, she doesn’t moralize, disapprove or romanticize. Instead, she sees and selects and exposes the wilderness of the human heart.”Cecelia Frey, author of Lovers Fall Back To Earth and recipient of the Golden Pen Lifetime Achievement Award