Salad Days

Cormorant Books (1990)



Montreal writer Claire Holden Rothman’s short stories resonate with the changing rhythms and colour of growing awareness. This book is about women. Or, to be exact, about girls wandering the twisting paths that lead to womanhood.

Rothman presents segments of perception through childhood, adolescence, and stages of maturity: accommodation, a coming-to-terms with loss, and a slow turning toward claims of reality.

The book spans three continents and one imaginary world, but the majority of tales are set in Quebec, in east-end Montreal apartments, the elegant dining rooms of Westmount, and farm houses on the shores of the lower Saint Lawrence River. In this range of settings social realism and fantasy intermingle with the slow seep of consciousness, the evolving of the partially-glimpsed, told with wit and a poignant clarity.

A wonderful new talent.



“A solid first book.”
– P. Scott Lawrence, the Montreal Gazette

“If there’s a recurring theme in Rothman’s ten stories, it’s the problems of adolescent girls in coming to terms with the adult world. Even when her protagonists are older, they must still make the adjustments and compromises that society has always demanded of women. Rothman’s attitude is not despairing, but a sensitive recognition of the way things are.”
– William French, The Globe and Mail

“Beautifully written depictions of young women coming to terms with the adult world.”
– Anna Asimakopulos, Montreal Mirror

“A unique collection of short stories by … an exciting new figure in the Canadian literary community.”
– Erin Maconachie, The Queen’s Journal