Leon Rooke is one of Canada's preeminent fiction innovators, a master of the short form, and a literary godfather to scores of writers. Here, for the first time, is the quintessential selection of his best short fiction, culled from a prodigious career and 15 story collections.

In these beautiful affecting stories, both bittersweet and hilarious, Rooke mines the rich and often turbulent field of domestic life, of relationships between men and women, and of the fragile dislocations of young children. Included are classics such as "The Birth Control King of Upper Volta," "The Women's Guide to Home Companionship," and "Early Obscenities in the Life of the World's Foremost Authority on Heidegger." Always fresh and original, these timeless stories push the boundaries of the traditional short story form.

"Painting the Dog" is vintage Rooke: 17 highly original tales brimming with whimsy and wit, pain and poignancy, and the author's endlessly astonishing and electric imagination and riotous humour.