The Flood

By (author): Leah Simone Bowen

“I bore him fourteen children and he had me down here faster than lightning.”

In 1887, women were property and could be imprisoned for any reason. Jail was considered a place for the criminal, the disabled, the mentally ill, and the marginalized.

In the basement prison below Toronto’s largest market, two women named Mary—one a shunned, pregnant Irish immigrant, the other a vilified Mississauga woman—become an unlikely pair as they form a friendship within their cold, shared cell. Their bond threatens fellow inmate Sophia—who calls herself the first Black woman in Canada and the leader of the prisoners—and she plots to use the women to gain better treatment for herself. But as melting ice water pours into the prison from Lake Ontario, the forgotten women of Toronto must come together to survive.

Inspired by true accounts and the history of Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market, The Flood gives voice to the little-known stories of early female prisoners in Canada.


Leah Simone Bowen

Leah Simone Bowen is a Toronto-based writer, producer, and Dora Mavor Moore Award–nominated director. She is the creator and co-host, along with Falen Johnson, of the CBC podcast The Secret Life of Canada about the untold and under-told history of the country. Select writing credits include The Hallway, Nowheresville, The Postman, and Treemonisha. She has been playwright-in­-residence at a number of theatres, including Obsidian Theatre, the Blyth Festival, and the Stratford Festival. She is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s theatre program.


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80 Pages
7.65in * 5.11in * .13in


October 30, 2018



Book Subjects:

DRAMA / Canadian

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