At times funny, at other times sad, and more than often a mixture of the two, Giving Up by Mike Steeves is a deeply felt account of what goes on in the inner sanctum of a modern couple’s apartment.
In grappling with the line between what happened and what might have happened, Steeves gives voice to the anguish of a generation of people who grew up with great expectations and are now settling into their own personal failures and compromises: James is obsessed with completing his life’s work. Mary is worried about their problems starting a family and is scared that their future might not turn out as she’d planned. In the span of a few hours on an ordinary night in a nondescript city, two relatively small events will have enormous consequences on James’ and Mary’s lives, both together and apart.
With an unrelenting prose style and pitch-black humor, Giving Up addresses difficult topics - James’ ruinous ambition, and Mary’s quiet anguish - in a funny and relatable way.
“Mike Steeves has written a wonderful work of fiction that explores modern coupledom in profound, moving and hilarious ways.” (The Globe and Mail)
“Mike Steeves is a brilliant, singular voice in Can Lit: funny and fresh and fast! Giving Up burns and glows with the intensity of a blue flame and all the pathos and obsessiveness and truth and absurdity of modern coupledom.” (Miriam Toews, author of All My Puny Sorrows and A Complicated Kindness)
“Steeves’ tone shifts between hilarious and heartbreaking so often and so smoothly that eventually Giving Up inhabits a place where you can hardly distinguish between the two. It’s quite a feat.” (Montreal Gazette)