“Touching, genuine, visceral and real.” — Richard Wagamese
“…with poetic flair and sensual detail.” — Donna Morrissey
“…a novel of ideas and politics in the very best sense.” — Vancouver Sun
It’s 1965. Twenty-two-year-old Linda Wise despairs of escaping her overprotective parents and the town of Stony River where far too many know she was sexually assaulted as a teenager. Deliverance arrives in the form of marriage to the charismatic, twenty-six-year-old Ronald Brunson, a newly ordained Methodist minister who ignites in her a dormant passion for social justice. He tells her war and racial discrimination are symptoms of the “moral rot” destroying the country, conjuring up something dark and rancid in her mind, thrilling in its wickedness. He sweeps her away from New Jersey to serve with him at a church in a speck-on-the-map prairie town in Minnesota. What lies ahead for her over the next seven years is the subject of Tricia Dower’s penetrating study of a marriage and a woman’s evolving sense of self as she confronts the fear that keeps her from an unfettered future. Becoming Lin conjures the turbulent era of Freedom Riders for civil rights, Vietnam war resistance, the US government’s war against the resisters, the push for equal rights for women and the unraveling of the traditional marriage contract—an era that resonates today in tenacious racism and sexism, perpetual war and wide-reaching government surveillance.
Available at Canadian bookstores, Amazon (Canada) and Chapters/Indigo.
It Wasn’t All Poodle Skirts and Rock ‘n’ Roll. From its deceptively innocent beginning — two young teens exploring the riverbank and spying on “Crazy Haggerty’s” dilapidated house — through the intertwining story lines of paganism, murder and sexual violence, StonyRiver shows how perilous life was for some girls in the 1950s. Absent mothers, controlling fathers, biblical injunctions, teenage longing and small-town pretense abound. The threat of violence is all around: angry fathers at home, dirty boys in the neighborhood, strange men in strange cars, a dead girl and another gone missing. The central mystery, inspired by the crimes of Robert Zarinsky as documented by Robin Gaby Fisher and Judith Lucas in DeadlySecrets (NewarkStar–Ledger 2008), keeps the reader guessing until almost the very end, when the frightening truth is revealed.
In this coming-of-age mystery, three girls learn who they are and what they’re capable of surviving — and forgiving.
Shortlisted for the Canadian Authors Association Fiction Award.
I was honored by my hometown by being inducted into its version of a hall of fame: Rahway‘s Own. Below is the poster that’s on display in various spots in town and here’s an article about the program and the other 2016 inductees.
Silent Girl takes us into the remarkable lives of fictional daughters, sisters, friends, lovers, wives and mothers through a story collection inspired by Shakespeare’s plays. Set in Canada, Kyrgyzstan, Thailand and the United States, eight insightful stories deal with a range of contemporary issues: racism, social isolation, sexual slavery, kidnapping, violence, family dynamics and the fluid boundaries of gender. (Published by Inanna, 2008)
Long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature.