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Tricia Dower

Website: TriciaDower.com

Tricia Dower has published her fiction in several journals such as Room of Oneís Own, The New Quarterly, Hemispheres, Cicada, NEO, Insolent Rudder and Big Muddy. She lives in Canada.

Short story collections

Silent Girl (Inanna Publications, 2008) 

Reviewed by Kim Junker

Interview with Tricia Dower

The Short Review: 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 husband 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 counterparts to Shakespeareís female characters I could come up with. So I got out my ancient 1337- 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. Inannaís editor-in-chief, Luciana Ricciutelli, 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 in Nobody; I Myself to one who wonít in Passing Through. Cocktails with Charles is next to last because it provides comic relief and posits alternative forms of relationships. The collection ends with The Snow People because it takes us into the future and deals with many different roles a woman can play.

TSR: What does the word "story" mean to you?

TD:  Something 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?

TD: One whoís drawn to both literary fiction and issues of social justice, I suppose, but Iím 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
collection, 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?

TD: Wonderful, 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, Iím sure) and Big Lonesome by Jim Ruland (wonderfully bizarre).