Most of the books we read are the result of one thing: someone we know, trust, and/or admire tells us it's great. That's why we run this series, The Recommend, where readers, writers, reviewers, bloggers, and others tell us about a book they'd recommend to a good friend ... and why.
This week we're pleased to present the picks of Chelsea Rooney, author of the acclaimed first novel Pedal; Daniel Allen Cox, author of two Lambda Award-nominated novels and the new book Mouthquake; Kevin Hardcastle, much-published short story writer and author of the upcoming collection Debris; Chadwick Ginther, creator of the award-winning Thunder Road trilogy; and Teri Vlassopoulos, whose short story debut, Bats and Swallows, was a Danuta Gleed finalist and whose forthcoming novel is Escape Plans.
Chelsea Rooney picks Nancy Lee’s The Age
In the 1980s myriad panics—both real and imagined—swept across North America. An untameable disease killed people by the tens of thousands. Crack cocaine flooded and ravaged the cities’ most embattled poor. Primetime television reported breathlessly on rumoured Satanic cults. And the threat of nuclear war reached its fever pitch, with WWIII imminent.
Nancy Lee’s The Age tells one story from this generation’s most vulnerable: its youth. …
Chelsea Rooney is the author of Pedal, which Steven W. Beattie recommended as a dazzling debut that "delves into situations and characters that many people will find uncomfortable... but does so in a manner that is intelligent and in no way exploitative." Beattie called Pedal "a brave book", and that same brave spirit (as well as Rooney's excellent prose) is on display in this list of books about sexuality and gender.
My novel, Pedal, looks at some uncomfortable areas: pedophilia, rape and child sexuality. (It’s also a funny book, I swear.) I took an inventory of works that deal with sexuality and that have stayed with me over the years. Revisiting them to remind myself of why they are important was a fascinating and uplifting experience: a good story lasts forever. It’s always there to hold you when you need it.
Dead Girls, by Nancy Lee
This was my first read when I moved from rural Nova Scotia to Vancouver at the age of eighteen. I read the second story, “Sally, in Parts,” on one of my very first bus rides—when I still thought you ha …