Alissa York’s internationally acclaimed novels include Mercy, Effigy, and, most recently, Fauna. Her essays have appeared in the Guardian, Eighteen Bridges, and elsewhere. York has lived all over Canada and now makes her home in Toronto with her husband. Her new novel, The Naturalist, is due out in 2016.

In Memoriam Pompeius Maximus

When it came to unwanted litters, Farmer Minz favoured death by shovel—one well-aimed blow per altricial skull. He was stooped over the last puppy in line when we entered the daytime twilight of the barn. “Wait!” my father shouted. Minz . . .
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