Tricia Dower has published her fiction in
several journals such as Room
of One’s Own, The New Quarterly, Hemispheres, Cicada, NEO, Insolent
Rudder and Big
Muddy. She lives in Canada.
with Tricia Dower
How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?
Tricia Dower: Three
years of very focused, full-time writing minus a few months in which my
and I completely disrupted our lives by turning into nomads.
TSR: Did you
have a collection in mind when you were writing them?
TD: Not until I had
finished the first story, Nobody;
I Myself, which was inspired by a
University of Toronto production of Othello. Once I had
created my modern-day
Desdemona, I thought it might be fun to see what other contemporary
Shakespeare’s female characters I could come up with. So I got out my
page Shakespeare text with its broken spine and marginal notes (written
in a handwriting
I no longer recognize) and started to search for likely candidates.
TSR: How did
you choose which stories to include and in what order?
TD: I included
every story in the series I wrote. Inanna’s editor-in-chief, Luciana
devised an order that she felt had integrity in terms of themes: from
some loss of
innocence in Not Meant
to Know to the more powerful and tragic loss of it in Silent Girl;
from the kidnapping and sexual slavery of Silent Girl to the
kidnapping of Kesh Kumay;
from the forced marriage of Kesh
Kumay to the abusive marriage (and yet another
kidnapping!) in Deep
Dark Waves; from a woman too willing to sacrifice herself
Myself to one who won’t in Passing Through. Cocktails with Charles
is next to
last because it provides comic relief and posits alternative forms of
collection ends with The
Snow People because it takes us into the future and deals
many different roles a woman can play.
TSR: What does the word "story"
mean to you?
has happened to people we care about, something we can laugh at, or cry
over, or learn from.
TSR: Do you
have a "reader" in mind when you write stories?
who’s drawn to both literary fiction and issues of social justice, I
suppose, but I’m
not that conscious of writing to satisfy anyone other than myself when
I start out.
TSR: Is there
anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your
anything at all?
TD: Yes. Which
character did you most identify with and why?
TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?
especially if they actually read it.
TSR: What are
you working on now?
TD:A book length
version of the last story in the collection.
TSR: What are
the three most recent short story collections you've read?
TD: The Withdrawal Method by Pasha Malla (poignant and wry), Things Kept, Things Left
Behind by Jim Tomlinson (written just for me, I’m sure) and Big Lonesome by Jim
Ruland (wonderfully bizarre).