For All The Men (and Some of the Women) I've Known
In For All The Men (and Some of The Women) I’ve Known, Danila Botha explores the nuances and complexity of relationships, from love to betrayal. In these eighteen unforgettable stories, Botha creates characters so authentic, readers are convinced that they know them personally. As in her debut collection, Got No Secrets, Botha excels at blending literary techniques with popular zeitgeist. With her trademark honest and singular voice, Botha exposes the desire for human connection above all things. The collection is hopeful, fearless, and utterly relatable.
"Everyone in this book is alive. Painfully, nervously, ardently. This collection, (like Chekhov by way of Kathy Acker but utterly original,) is truthful and dreamy, tough and tremulous; sad and aching, seductively, with hope."
Lynn Crosbie, author of Where Did You Sleep Last Night
"For All The Men (and Some of the Women) I've Known might be Botha's most triumphant work to date... For All The Men has Botha delivering smart prose that seamlessly balances humour, disappointment and dysfunction...In addition to sharp and perceptive characterization, Botha's writing is perfectly paced. The reader repeatedly discovers moments in which everything seems to fall together: a character pulls you in, a beautiful scene is set, and before you know it, devastation unfolds... But Botha is consistently sympathetic to her characters experiences... Botha is an incredibly fresh voice in Canadian literature, and this visceral and remarkable collection feels like it's only setting the stage for much more to come"
Liz Worth, Quill and Quire Magazine (Starred Review)
"Like a series of orchestral variations whose loops and iterations are made vital by the steady introduction of new elements... These are stories full of people who disappoint, or are disappointed, yet they rarely end on a note of despair, which in today's Tinder-enabled relationship landscape seems almost like an act of subversion. She has a fine talent too, for putting emphasis in unexpected places.... This unexpectedness can extend to Botha's turns of phrase, which offers a wry counterpoint to her project as a whole"
Emily Donaldson, The Toronto Star
"In this powerful collection, we come to see the plenty sides of the heart: the good, the bad and the downright terrible...This stunning collection will absolutely affect you...Each of these stories are real and honest, open and gut-wrenching, and Botha makes them jump out from the page into your mind. The characters are unforgettable. This book will stay with you for a long time, as you ponder your own understanding of love long after you have shut the last page"
Laurie Burns, Atlantic Books Today
"Power dynamics pervade Danila Botha’s sophomore collection, which focuses on the romantic travails of a group of urban twenty somethings falling into and out of love, lust and friendship...Botha’s characters freely indulge in sex and drugs and copious amounts of alcohol in their quest to find succour or peace, though it becomes readily apparent that what they are most intent on discovering – and what proves most elusive – is some sort of authentic connection with another human being. The author is undeniably familiar with modern urban ennui, and the stories in her collection have an admirable directness and grit...Botha is clear-eyed in illustrating the ways her protagonists’ devotion to their vision of romantic purity is either subverted or results in the unintended consequence of alienating the very object of their longing"
Steven Beattie, The Globe and Mail
"The collection is composed of short, emotionally dense vignettes....By layering varying iterations of love’s path on top of each other, the stories tell how chance meetings or university flirtations can evolve into steep romances, then quickly into uncomfortable discoveries or withering affection. Botha has a talent with words and description and she is speaking smartly, even boldly toward and from within a milieu she understands... there are great moments of shine in this collection, including the break-up story “Start Being More Independent (and Stop Telling Me You Love Me),” which strikes a moving balance between the strangeness of getting to know one another, the self-narration of intimacy and the sudden simplicity of departure. The opening story, “Love and Polar Bears,” is an awesome blast of a young woman coming to terms with being the mistress in the grand narrative of her last relationship. At her best, Botha repaints the stoic male canvasses of Cheever and Carver, but with a sensing, reflective affect"
Jonathan Valelly, The Winnipeg Review
“With an ear for poetry and a knack for tragedy, Danila Botha is an expert on yearning. These stories are for anyone who has ever loved and lost, but not let go.”
Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall, author of Ghosted
"For All the Men and Some of the Women I've Known is unlike anything I have ever read before. Unflinchingly honest in its examination of love in all its joyful, messy, agonizing, spectacularly beautiful glory, these stories seem to vibrate on their own emotional frequency. Danila Botha writes with a heartbreaking rawness and intensity that will continue to haunt you long after you've turned the final page."
Amy Jones, author of We're All in This Together
“Danila Botha’s debut novel tells the extraordinary story of four individuals whose lives intersect in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood. The narrative, which is constructed in alternating first-person voices, reveals a deep understanding of human nature… By the novel’s end… Botha makes clear [that love] the only thing that can save these characters.”
Safa Jinje, Quill and Quire Magazine
"Set in Toronto’s gritty Parkdale neighbourhood, Danila Botha's Too Much on the Inside burrows deep inside the heads of four twenty somethings as they fumble through tumultuous relationships in the hopes of finding happiness in their adopted home…despite its violence Too Much on the Inside is a tender love story”
Sue Carter, Metro News
“Danila Botha, whose first book drew praise for its compassion and urgency, brings similar sentiments to her interwoven portrayals of four new Torontonians of diverse origin (South Africa, Brazil, Israel and Nova Scotia) drawn to the openness and opportunities they sense Queen Street West might offer them… Too Much on the Inside deserves praise for representing Parkdale’s cultural vibrancy and diversity, and in doing so moving beyond the derelict-hipster dynamic characterizing so many works set in the neighbourhood. There is an admirable freshness and enthusiasm in Botha’s writing, qualities that do not inhibit her ability to describe dark and even violent events.”
Amy Lavender- Harris, The Literary Review of Canada
"One of the strengths of the opening story in Danila Botha's debut collection is its stripping away of the reassurances of the imaginary... The staying power in the tales lie in Botha's carefully inflected first person narration... (her character's) accounts of domestic atrocities are chilling in their dry simplicity and candour."
Jim Bartley, The Globe and Mail
"Danila Botha tells stories that ask questions, one of which - constantly recurring - is what happens when you stop being able to feel? The writing is fearless, honest and poignant."
The Cape Times, South Africa
"Danila Botha is an emerging literary lioness on Canada's literary landscape... Got No Secrets packs an emotional wallop...powerful and poignant... an honest and freshly forthright debut that is filled with the headaches and heartburns of youth gone awry."
Stephen Patrick Clare, The Chronicle Herald, Halifax