About Silent Girl
Set in Canada, Kyrgyzstan, Thailand, and the United States and informed by the female characters of eight Shakespeare plays, the stories in Silent Girl portray girls and women dealing with a range of contemporary issues, including oppression, racism, the aftermath of war, social isolation, human trafficking, kidnapping, violence, family dynamics, and sexuality.
Miranda in The Tempest, a girl kept hidden from the world by her father, is the inspiration for “Not Meant to Know.” A discovery in a local man’s house opens an eleven-year-old girl to incest as well as the emerging sexuality of her peers and her own developing body.
Springing from the improbable chastity in Pericles, “Silent Girl” is the story of a child kidnapped from Thailand after the 2004 tsunami and sold to traffickers.
Kidnapping also figures in “Kesh Kumay,” a modern counterpart to The Taming of the Shrew. The dreams of an ambitious, proud student in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan are taken hostage by an ancient nomadic custom.
“Deep Dark Waves” was inspired by The Winter’s Tale, about a woman falsely accused of adultery and her husband’s cruelty toward their daughter. In this story, a woman constructs a life on remembered pain after her husband disappears with their infant daughter.
Desdemona’s willingness to allow herself to die in Othello led to the story, “Nobody; I Myself.” Socially isolated in an interracial marriage, a young woman devises a desperate plan to help her tortured husband after his return from Vietnam.
An exploration of what was behind Gertrude’s hasty marriage to her dead husband’s brother in Hamlet is the foundation for “Passing Through.” Mad cow disease and death leave an Alberta mother and son wrestling for control of an uncertain future.
“Cocktails with Charles,” inspired by Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night, explores the complexities and fluid boundaries of gender. With the help of a trance channeller and an older man, two young women break old patterns to find new meaning.
Selanna in “The Snow People: AGM 30-46” is inspired by the atypical mothering of Volumnia in Coriolanus. On a coastal island in an environmentally degraded future where the Rainbows rule the Snow People, Selanna and her son pursue opposing visions.
FROM THE BOOK