Reviews

“…a modern masterpiece…Dower’s fluid imagination is masterfully captured in the flawless technique of her prose.”

 — Nicole Langan, Tribute Books.
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 Tricia Dower’s debut short fiction collection is ambitious and powerful…Dower’s characters are richly realized—exceedingly reflexive, teeming with desire and impulse….The title story is an incisive rendering of sex trafficking in North America… both chilling and heartbreaking…”Deep Dark Waves” is a compelling and complex study of violence… “Cocktails with Charles” is a witty love story that challenges hegemonic relationships… The outcome… is both surprising and exhilarating. While some stories are more complex than others, every single narrative in Silent Girl is engaging. Voices are crisp and clear, resonant and robust. This is a book worth reading.

 —Lisa Foad, Herizons magazine, Summer 2009
Full review on page 38

 …a strong first book that bares the darker nature of human reasoning and fallibility. The eight stories, lightly inspired by works of Shakespeare, range widely, but all follow females struggling to navigate their lives. At times comic and often tragic, Dower’s work pushes her protagonists to choose between themselves and society; love and power; family and humanity.

 —E.G. Anderson, Monday Magazine
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 Dower’s characters are heartbreakingly valiant, like resistance fighters on occupied ground; through knowledge, wit, defiance and even silence, they gesture toward new, if imperfect, definitions of autonomy. A bold, candid, and moving collection.

 —Dr. Susan Braley, author and educator

 Silent Girl is a powerful collection of short stories that takes on us a roller coaster ride into the lives of fictional women inspired by the women in Shakespearean plays…Each story in this robust collection is haunting in its own right. Dower does a great job touching on the inner conflicts, as well as the cultural ones, of both genders that lead to oppression, abuse, and social isolation, successfully weaving a web of thought-provoking stories that cry out for someone…anyone…to help abolish oppression of all kinds.

 —Rachel Laudiero, publisher, Old Musty Books.com.
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 Dower’s stories are strongly character driven, and every woman portrayed comes alive in her own way—the message is powerful, but not overstated. Silent Girl gives a clear and striking voice to women who have been made “silent” by oppression from their mates, their parents, their captors, their world. It’s fascinating, frightening, and enlightening—a collection that bears careful reading.

 —Becca Rowan, Bookstack
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 …beautifully crafted stories…full of careful attention to detail, both in the sensual sights, sounds, smells and tastes of far flung places and the emotional reality of the women living there… You’ll be reminded of Alice Munro when you are not caught up in these deeply satisfying tales.

 —Andrew Tibbetts, Descant Magazine
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 Silent Girl explores universal themes—racism, domestic abuse, rape, etc.—and the impact these issues have on women’s lives. Dower’s stories capture the essence of the battle women face in being true to themselves. Should they remain silent and keep their secrets or speak out and share their truths? What power do their words have? And what power their silence? How can they find a balance between being trapped and being free, and what responsibility must they take in creating that balance?

Dower writes in an easy-to-read style that immediately draws the reader in and connects them with the characters, as if one is glimpsing the lives of a neighbor up the street or one of their closest friends. Her descriptions are brief but powerful: “It hurts less if I think of her as Faye” to describe a character’s relationship with her mother or “…wrong history on my skin” to explain a white woman’s view of the chasm between her and her black husband.

 —Kim Junker, The Short Review
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 A number of contemporary short story writers have taken up a place in my heart: Simon Van Booyfor for his book, The Secret Lives of People in Love, Miranda July thanks to her No One Belongs Here More Than You, and now Tricia Dower, author of Silent Girl.

—Andi Miller, BiblioBuffet
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 Exquisite stories, all. The women that inhabit her stories still creep into my thoughts, fully one week after reading Tricia’s book. Highly recommended collection.

 —Katherine Grosjean on Goodreads

 Silent Girl brilliantly takes the short story and adds a Shakespearian twist… Shakespeare fans will enjoy searching for the similarities, but those who’ve never studied his work will simply enjoy short stories that are sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes humorous, but always well executed.

 —Diane Kidman, carp(e) libris reviews
Read full review here.

 I’ve just finished Silent Girl and was amazed by the depth and variety of human experience in the perfectly crafted stories. Tricia is truly a marvellous writer!

 —Hannah Holborn on Goodreads

 The stories within Silent Girl are various, points of view from women of many ages, from different cultures and places. It is this variousness that makes the stories’ main links (Shakespeare, women’s issues– that “something to say”) particularly interesting, as the connections aren’t really obvious until we come out of the stories’ individual worlds, backing away to look at the book’s overarching theme. Which is to say that many of the stories in this collection are wonderful, stand alone, and it is only when they’re grouped together that their “issues” become relevant. Remaining secondary to the stories themselves, which is how it should be, but still adding a worthwhile dimension. Stories taking full advantage of collectivity to expand on the ideas each raises alone.

 —Kerry Clare, Pickle Me This
Read full review here.

 

 

 

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FROM THE BOOK

"One day I will go to America and come back with a groom," she says. "He will not own me for as little as five horses. He will not own me at all."
"He will be rich and carry a gun, I suppose," Dimira says. She saw a Hollywood movie once in Bishkek.

— Kesh Kumay

FROM THE BOOK

"One day I will go to America and come back with a groom," she says. "He will not own me for as little as five horses. He will not own me at all."
"He will be rich and carry a gun, I suppose," Dimira says. She saw a Hollywood movie once in Bishkek.

— Kesh Kumay