Aaron Cordic and Samantha Riske are a couple of twenty-something hypochondriacs living in east-end Toronto. While Aaron works part-time at a bathroom supply store, donning surgical masks, plastic gloves, and a backpack full of sanitary products, Samantha hides herself away in their apartment, tip-toeing around naked and spying on the neighbours. Between paranoid trips to the doctor and extremely intimate examinations of each other's bodies, they’ve managed to eke out an isolated and highly sterilized existence.
Then, one day, birds begin falling from the sky as numerous tenants in their building become mysteriously ill. Before long, a pandemic known as Buzzard Flu has swept across the city, and Aaron and Samantha must come to terms with the all-too-real possibility that disease, or even death, could finally be at hand. But is Buzzard Flu the biggest problem the couple must face? Or does a more dangerous killer lurk closer to home.
By turns disturbing, uplifting, funny, and weirdly erotic, Touching Strangers examines what it means to be young and afraid in a world more hazardous than we want to believe.
Touching Strangers is now available in bookstores and online.
Stacey Madden was born and raised in east Toronto, where he still resides. He holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Toronto, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. His first novel, Poison Shy, was published in 2012, and he frequently reviews books for Quill & Quire. He enjoys books, beer, and quiet reading time. He owns a cat.
Stacey's fascinating novel Touching Strangers will be released in audiobook format November 15, 2021.