New York City, USA: Akashic Books, 2004
200 pp., 5 x 8", softcover
Edition size unknown
Edited by Dennis Cooper, Grab Bag is comprised of two interrelated novels, Dark Rides and Wish Book, both are set in the same small rural city, in different eras. The cover features an illustration by Ian Phillips (Pas de Chance), which recognizes McCormack's ongoing obsession with Halloween.
The title was chosen as one of the Village Voice's Best Books of the Year in 2004, and has received considerable praise elsewhere:
"Anyone interested in the more wicked, crafty forms of Canadian writing would be well advised to spend time with McCormack."
- Toronto Star
"Boy, can Dennis Cooper find ’em! Grab Bag will grab you, all right; plain, simple, and hard."
- John Waters
"Grab Bag culls the best of the perverse and innocent world of Derek McCormack. The mystery of objects, the lyricism of neglected lives, the menace and nostalgia of the past – these are all ingredients in this weird and beautiful parallel universe."
– Edmund White
"[A] kaleidoscopic look at a world of cheap furbelows and carnival flash, a place where childlike wonder goes hand in hand with cruel cynicism, and where even the promise of heaven appears as tawdry as an eyeshadow case."
– Ryan Brooks, Chicago Reader
"[A] rare treat ... Weird, inventive, wonderful."
– Jorge Morales, Village Voice
"The first U.S. outing for the sexy, edgy Canadian novelist, steered your way by the gratifyingly dark-souled Dennis Cooper."
– The Advocate
Available from Amazon, here.