Women Crush Wednesday: Fiction Edition

March 30, 2022

In this week's edition of Women Crush Wednesday, discover these talented fiction authors published by Inanna Publications, ARP, Turnstone Press, Cormorant Books, Thistledown Press, Roseway Publishing, Book*Hug Press, and Breakwater Books. 

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Rummana Chowdhury | Author of Dusk in the Frog Pond and Other Stories (Inanna Publications)

Rummana Chowdhury is the author of forty-three books, in both Bengali and English, which include poetry, short stories, novels, and essays. She is a leading global commentator on issues of migration that pertain to the South Asian Diaspora. She has received several notable awards including Woman of the Year, 2010, Canada, and Best Writer and Translator for Diaspora Literature, Ontario Bengali Cultural Society, 2016. She has also received several awards for her contributions to Bengali, English and Diasporic literature and translation work, including, most recently, the Kobi Jasim Uddin Award, 2019, and the Bangladesh Lekhika Shongho Award for Literature and Translation, 2017. She immigrated to Canada in 1982 and for the past thirty years has worked as an accredited interpreter/ translator. She lives in Mississauga, Ontario. 

In Dusk in the Frog Pond, Rummana Chowdhury presents new narratives about the lived realities of Muslim women as they navigate life, be it in Bangladesh, on the shores of Lake Ontario in Toronto or along the riotous waves of the Atlantic in New York. These eight powerful stories follow a series of intrepid Bangladeshi women as they confront the issues of migration, displacement, nostalgia, cultural assimilation, marriage and above all identity and loneliness. Despite the challenges facing them, these compelling characters seek out happiness, whether in arranged marriages, romantic relationships or in shaping their individual destinies. Each tale is a depiction of the tensions, active as well as simmering, between culture, tradition and history and the modern world. The collection is a compendium of both joy and sorrow, never forgetting the eternally burning fire of hope that lives and dies within all of us.

 

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Fawn Parker | Author of Dumb-Show (ARP Books)

Fawn Parker is a novelist, publisher, and literary agent for new and emerging authors. She is the author of Set-Point (2019) and Dumb-Show (2021), both published by ARP Books. In reviewing Set-Point, novelist Joan Thomas said “Parker’s sensibility is contemporary, smart and funny; fans of auto-fiction by international writers like Ben Lerner or Elif Batuman will love her. In fact, the central character, Lucy Frank, is writing a parody Seinfeld script featuring Karl Ove Knausgaard.” Fawn’s short story, "FEED MACHINE," was long-listed for the 2020 McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. She was the recipient of the Adam Penn Gilders Award for Fiction (2019) and Concordia University's Irving Layton Award for Fiction (2017). Her writing has also appeared in EVENT Magazine, Joyland, The Puritan, carte blanche, Vallum, and other publications. As the founder of the Parker Agency, she represents new and emerging Canadian authors. Fawn has a Master’s Degree in English, Creative Writing, from the University of Toronto. Her third novel WHAT WE BOTH KNOW is forthcoming with McClelland & Stewart in Spring 2022.

Dumb-Show is a satirical campus novel that shrewdly confronts the cultural politics of masculinity through a narrative that twists the structure of Henry IV. A controversial Canadian professor of political science at a Toronto university rises to power when his political views divide the student body. Two siblings, one a student at the university, develop isolated personal relationships with the professor, and find themselves spiralling to infamy alongside him. Parker's second novel shadows the rise and fall of a corrupt king, observes a young and lazy boy's attempt to make a name for himself, and, tearing a hole in the hyper-masculine power narrative, interrogates a woman's internal search to power.

 

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Dora Dueck | Author of All That  Belon gs (Turnstone Press)

Dora Dueck is the award-winning author of numerous books, articles, and short stories. Her novel, This Hidden Thing, won the 2010 McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, and was shortlisted for the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction, and What You Get At Home (Turnstone Press, 2012) won the High Plains Award for Short Stories. Dueck’s novella, Mask, was also the winning entry for the 2014 Malahat Review novella contest. Dora grew up in a Mennonite community in Alberta, lived for many years in Winnipeg, but currently makes her home in Delta, British Columbia.

All That  Belon gsCatherine, an archivist, has spent decades committed to conserving the pasts of others, only to find her own resurfacing on the eve of her retirement. Carefully, she mines the failing memories of her aging mother to revive a mysterious Uncle and relive the tragic downfall of her brother. Catherine remembers, and in the process, discovers darker family secrets, long silenced, and their devastating aftermath. Spanning decades between rural Alberta and Winnipeg, All That Belongs is an elegant examination of our own ephemeral histories, the consequences of religious fanaticism, and the startling familial ties--and shame--that bind us.

 

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Bev Katz Rosenbaum | Author of I'm Good and Other Lies (Cormorant Books)

Bev Katz Rosenbaum is the author of the I Was a Teenage Popsicle series, Who is Tanksy?, and most recently, I’m Good and Other Lies. She has taught creative writing at Centennial College and is an award-winning publishing industry veteran. Rosenbaum, a devoted coffee-drinker and chocoholic, spends her downtime reading, baking, and watching movies. She currently lives in Toronto, ON.

I'm Good and Other LiesIs it asking too much to live a typical twelfth grade existence? Kelsey Kendler just wants to earn some money for university, hang out with friends, maybe even snag a boyfriend. But her pill-popping mom and distant dad scare off anybody she tries to bring home, making those last two things feel impossible. Her part-time ice cream shop job’s a slog, but at least there, she can escape her parents’ constant fighting … until the COVID-19 pandemic forces a lockdown and she’s stuck at home with them 24/7. As the lockdown takes its toll on Kelsey’s mental health, she starts to see the appeal of her mom’s pills. She hates what they do to her mom, but numbing herself to the world seems like a pretty good idea right about now. Horrified to find herself following in her mom’s footsteps, she can only hope she’ll eventually figure out some other way to cope…

 

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Theressa Slind | Author of Only If We're Caught (Thistledown Press)

Theressa Slind is a librarian at Saskatoon Public Library. Her writing has appeared in Prairie Fire, PRISM international, The Malahat Review, The New Quarterly, Grain, and elsewhere. She grew up on a grain farm in north-east Saskatchewan and lives in Saskatoon with her husband and daughter. Only If We’re Caught is her first book.

This sensational debut collection of short stories takes readers on on an exhilarating ride through the many chambers of the complicated, messed up, resilient human heart. Meet the happy wunderkind inside the sad elderly lover, the vulnerable teenager inside the high-powered lawyer, the loving father inside the vampire. In these stories, no narrator is too far-fetched, because every voice is in some way our own. We unravel a mystery with a mortician troubled by the ghosts of his clients, stumble along a gravel road with a too-young pregnant woman searching for a lost girl, watch a feminist falling in love with the office Romeo, are charmed by a robotic humanoid with a penchant for merlot and sedition… Whether the subject is betrayal, disappointment, grief, love or longing, these stories will entertain you with zippy word-craft and sly humour, and seduce you with tenderness. 

 

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Carmen Rodriguez | Author of  Atacama (Roseway Publishing)

Chilean-Canadian bilingual writer Carmen Rodríguez (carmenrodriguez.ca) is the author of Guerra Prolongada/Protracted War (poetry); a body to remember with/De cuerpo entero (short stories); and Retribution (a novel). Rodríguez also has an extensive career as an educator and journalist, including work in adult literacy and popular education, particularly with Indigenous Peoples and other marginalized communities in the Americas.

Firmly rooted in historical events,  Atacama tells the story of Manuel Garay, the son of a communist miner/union leader and an anarchist organizer of working-class women, and Lucía Céspedes, the daughter of a fascist army officer and a socialite. A fateful turn of events leads to twelve-year-old Lucía befriending twelve-year-old Manuel, inextricably connecting them to a common denominator: Lucía’s adoring father and the perpetrator of the heinous crimes that have caused both children immeasurable suffering. Manuel and Lucía forge a friendship that grows as they come of age and realize that their lives are not only linked by Ernesto Céspedes’ actions, but also by a deep understanding of the other’s emotional predicaments, their commitment to social justice and their belief in the power of writing and art. Set in the first half of the twentieth century, but resonating loudly with today’s changing times, beautifully crafted Atacama covers themes related to class, gender, trauma, survival and the role of art in society.

 

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Nic Brewer | Author of Suture (Book*Hug Press)

Nic Brewer is a writer and editor from Toronto. She writes fiction, mostly, which has appeared in Canthius, the Hart House Review, and Hypertrophic Literary, among others. She is the co-founder of Frond, an online literary journal for prose by LGBTQI2SA writers, and formerly co-managed the micropress words(on)pages. She lives in Kitchener, ON, with her partner and her dog. Suture is her first book.

Suture is an exciting debut novel that shares three interweaving stories of artists tearing themselves open to make art. Each artist baffles their family, or harms their loved ones, with their necessary sacrifices. Eva's wife worries about her mental health; Finn's teenager follows in her footsteps, using forearms bones for drumsticks; Grace's network constantly worries about the prolific writer's penchant for self-harm, and the over-use of her vitals for art. The result is a hyper-real exploration of the cruelties we commit and forgive in ourselves and others. Brewer brings a unique perspective to mental illness while exploring how support systems in relationships—spousal, parental, familial—can be both helpful and damaging.

 

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Trudy J. Morgan-Cole | Author of Such Miracles and Mischiefs (Breakwater Books)

Trudy Morgan-Cole is a writer and teacher in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Her historical novels include By the Rivers of Brooklyn, Most Anything You Please, and A Roll of the Bones, the first volume of the Cupids Trilogy. She is fascinated by the forgotten or ignored stories of women in history and loves to create fiction out of the gaps history leaves behind. Trudy is the mother of two young adults and lives in Rabbittown, in the heart of St. John’s, with her husband, Jason, and the world’s most beautiful rescue dog.

Such Miracles and Mischiefs, the second book in the Cupids trilogy, adventures across the first three English colonies in the Americas—Newfoundland, Virginia, and Bermuda—and highlights women’s colonial experience. After pirates attack the Guy family’s plantation near Cupids, Nancy Ellis needs all her ingenuity to survive in the hands of lawless men. Ned Perry crosses the ocean to find her, while Nancy’s employer and friend, Kathryn Guy, must rebuild a home on the harsh shores of the New Found Land.

 

 

 

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