Modern Fables - Freehand Books

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Modern Fables

  • Publication Date: September 1, 2022
  • ISBN: 9781990601217 / 1990601219
  • 240 pages; 5½" x 8½"

Modern Fables is a darkly funny, feminist collection of essays about love and place.

In this darkly funny book about love in the digital age, Mikka Jacobsen challenges the notion that a single woman in her thirties writing about love is simply desperate. Instead, in an unflinching collage of coming-of-age narratives, she both elevates singledom and upholds the value of finding profound love. A work of feminist thinking, these interlinked essays blend memoir with cultural and literary criticism, exploring first loves and teenage drug-slingers, sports culture and blowjobs, catfishing and the problematic advice of self-help gurus.

At the same time, Modern Fables considers how we are shaped as much by the places we are from as by the times in which we live. Growing up and living in the deeply conservative Canadian prairies, what does it mean when you’re not at home at home? Whether she’s writing about a settler mother’s forays into shamanism in “The Indian Act” or considering the favourite writer of every Calgary man’s online-dating profile in “Kurt Vonnegut Lives on Tinder,” Mikka Jacobsen pulls no punches, delivering a fiery manifesto on love and place for our times.

“. . . the ethos [in this book] is reminiscent of Sheila Heti—unafraid to reveal its own intellect as it pushes through doubts, romanticisms and conventional delusions, toward revelation and a shimmering, precarious clarity.” ALBERTA VIEWS

“These essays are wicked. As in wickedly good, wickedly funny, wickedly smart, but also just plain wicked. They will corrupt everything you thought you knew about love and relationships: they will make you suspicious of your friends and lusty for your enemies; you won’t trust anyone anymore ever except for Jacobsen herself as she crashes at rabbit-quick speed through all the ‘fables’ we tell ourselves about modern love and how to behave in this digital age. Jacobsen distinguishes herself from the very first sentence in the very first essay as a writing virtuoso. I love this book about love so, so, so much I can’t stand it.” SUZETTE MAYR author of The Sleeping Car Porter and Dr. Edith Vane and the Hares of Crawley Hall

Alberta Book Publishing Awards – Trade Non-Fiction Book of the Year, 2023 (winner)

News & Events

Winners of the 2023 Alberta Book Publishing Awards
Alberta Book Publishing Awards Shortlist
Modern Fables reviewed in Portal 2023
Modern Fables reviewed in Alberta Views
Modern Fables reviewed in ROOM 46.1
Mikka Jacobsen interviewed in the Missouri Review
Modern Fables reviewed in Pickle Me This
March 14, 2023: "How I Write" with Mikka Jacobsen, Doreen Vanderstoop, and Charlotte Bellows
Shrapnel's Fall Favourites of 2022
Mikka Jacobsen interviewed on CBC's Daybreak Alberta
September 12, 2022: Freehand Fall Launch w/ Mikka Jacobsen and Barbara Joan Scott
October 15, 2022: Mikka Jacobsen at BookFest Windsor
November 8, 2022: Margaret Macpherson w/ Mikka Jacobsen
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