First Fiction Friday: A One-Handed Novel

Kim Clark inspires humour and sex appeal in her latest A One-Handed Novel (Caitlin Press), fiction channelled by her own experiences with disability. The novel follows protagonist Melanie Farrell, a fortyish woman living with Multiple Sclerosis, as she comes to learn of her seemingly unreal prognosis: she only has six orgasms left.


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What: A One-Handed Novel (Caitlin Press, 2018)Who: Kim Clark is an author, poet and playwright and gimp. Clark has published short fiction—Attemptations (Caitlin Press)—and poetry: Middle Child of SummerSit You Waiting (Caitlin Press), and Dis eas and De sire, The M anu s cript, as well as co-editing the red-head anthology, Canadian Ginger (Oolichan Books). She’s also been a finalist in Theatre BC’s Playwriting Competition and has a novella under option for a feature-length film. Clark is the author of A One-Handed Novel. The sequel to this novel is in the works so watch for Another One-Handed Novel. She lives in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.Why you need to read this now:In A One-Handed Novel, Vancouver Island author, Kim Clark, fearlessly channels her own experiences with disability into the character of Melanie Farrell and her unconventional prognosis. It seems, based on a new study, that she only has six orgasms left. Six! Fortyish and single, Mel must decide how best to spend, save, or at least not waste those precious orgasms.But how can she work to financially support herself and get the care she needs when she can hardly leave the house? Where are her friends when she needs them? And when she suddenly meets a man who loves butterflies and is good with his hands, how is it she can achieve survival and desire? Funny, honest, heartbreaking, and hopeful, A One-Handed Novel offers a fresh take on independence and disability, ambition and love, and the communities that help us cope when our bodies and our desires are ever-changing.Dina Del Bucchia, author of Don’t Tell Me What to Do says, “To reveal too many details would deprive the reader of the wicked delight in discovering each fearless narrative surprise that awaits them in Kim Clark’s novel. In both humour and heart this book doesn’t tread delicately when addressing the reality of living with a disability, financial struggle, women’s sexuality, and the complications that arise in every type of relationship. I cried, I cackled, and I couldn’t stop reading this wild, tender and very necessary book.”Kim Clark will sit on three panel events at the Growing Room Festival on March 2 and 3: “Hidden Intersections,” “Writing the Body,” and “Sex, Bondage & Fetishes.” In April, Kim will launch the book on the Sunshine Coast alongside Rebecca Hendry, where she is very well known from her time living in the area.X plus y:A One-Handed Novel is Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s transformative memoir Dirty River meets George Elliott Clarke’s road trip novel The Motorcyclist.
* * *Thanks to Michael at Caitlin Press for sharing A One-Handed Novel with us. For more First Fiction Friday, click here.