Vermin: Stories


Now available from Enfield & Wizenty, independent booksellers like Owl’s Nest Books, as well as Amazon and Indigo.

Featured on 49th Shelf: Stunning Short Story Collections in 2020

Finalist for a High Plains Book Award, the Canadian Authors Association Fred Kerner Book Award and the Saskatchewan Foundation for the Arts Glengarry Book Award.


FreeFall Magazine Review by Kathryn Shalley, Spring 2021

Alberta Views Review by Jannie Edwards, March 2021

I’ve Read This Review by Anne Logan, Dec. 8, 2020

CBC Daybreak Alberta Review by Angie Abdou, Nov. 21, 2020

CBC Daybreak Alberta Interview by Russell Bowers, Nov. 1, 2020

Calgary Herald Interview by Eric Volmers, Oct. 16, 2020

CJSW Radio Writer’s Block Interview by Dymphny Dronyk, Oct. 21, 2020


“These are well-made stories that offer convincingly conflicted characters. A hospitable, entertaining read.”  —  Jannie Edwards, Alberta Views Magazine

“Vermin is an immersive collection of short stories that demonstrate a notable breadth of talented writing.” – Anne Logan, I’ve Read This

“Part of the strength in Hahnel’s often funny, occasionally sad and always intriguing collection is that (the stories) take readers in all sorts of directions.” — Eric Volmers, The Calgary Herald

Hahnel is keenly aware of the daily suffering of life, and once in a while, of the sought-for moments of forgetfulness of a troubled place, or of a desperate, short-lived bliss. But there are no lyric flights here, the prose is unadorned, straight-forward and clear, what is unsaid often more important than what is, and her characters are on the move, often aimlessly, from one unsatisfactory situation to another, while their friends become drifters and vanish and reappear and vanish again. These are touching, gentle stories about the lives of women and girls who aren’t lucky in their beginnings or backgrounds, nor particularly wise, and yet, their stories, with their rare and tiny triumphs, resonate.” – Sharon Butala, author of Season of Fury and Wonder

With remarkable range, Lori Hahnel captures women who experience disappointment and alienation, heartbreak and oppression. The delight of the collection comes in the way Hahnel’s fully realized protagonists — a lively cast of outsiders and rebels — continue, despite life’s adversity, to find the strength to live authentically. VERMIN is a treasure from one of Alberta’s bright lights.” – Angie Abdou, author of Home Ice: Reflections of a Reluctant Hockey Mom

“In these stories, Lori Hahnel reimagines the subject of love. In the time of parasites her flawed and transient characters attempt to find coherence in their lives. Hahnel never overstays or overplays. With the sure hand and clear eye of a surgeon, she cuts to the quick, dissects and reveals moments of truth in the lies people tell each other and in the lies they tell themselves. Writing with classical dispassion, she doesn’t moralize, disapprove or romanticize. Instead, she sees and selects and exposes the wilderness of the human heart.” – Cecelia Frey, author of Lovers Fall Back To Earth and recipient of the Golden Pen Lifetime Achievement Award