The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Of Silent Girls and Goddesses

by Tricia Dower

Three years ago, following a visit to Colin’s point of origin on this planet, I started a story inspired by Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, and set it among the ranches of southern Alberta. A documentary on CBC’s Passionate Eye provided the locale for my second Shakespeare inspired story. Story by story, a collection grew around modern-day counterparts to Desdemona, Kate, Miranda and others.

I’m thrilled to announce that the collection has been accepted by Inanna Publications and Education, Inc., the feminist press out of York University. They will describe my collection in their spring 2008 catalogue comme ça:

Silent Girl takes us into the remarkable and poignant lives of fictional daughters, sisters, friends, lovers, wives, and mothers through a story collection inspired by Shakespeare’s plays. Set in twentieth and twenty-first century Canada, Kyrgyzstan, Thailand and the United States, these insightful stories portray girls and women dealing with a range of contemporary issues such as racism, social isolation, sexual slavery, kidnapping, violence, family dynamics and the fluid boundaries of gender.

Founded in 1978, Inanna publishes one of Canada’s oldest feminist journals, Canadian Woman Studies. Their publications are widely used in colleges and universities. In 2004 they began publishing a prose and poetry series and I’m excited to be part of this relatively new venture.

My characters drew me to Inanna. We fit there, they told me.

The press takes its name from the Goddess Inanna, ruler of the ancient Sumerians who created the first known written language. Among their literary works are the hymns and stories of Inanna. According to these, she descended twice: first from Heaven to Earth to rule her people; second, to the underworld, the domain of her sister Ereshkigal. The second descent was to confront her darker, shadow self. It led to her death and resurrection. She was the goddess of fertility, love, the family and sexual desire, of both truth and deceit, of both war and healing, the goddess of the prostitutes, artisans, musicians, singers and scribes. Kind of a Peggy Lee Cause I'm a woman! W-O-M-A-N, I'll say it again kind of goddess.

Next steps: editing, design, printing and promotion. Should be fun and easy with such a multi-tasking goddess in charge.

Image from:


Blogger Anne said...

My official congratulations! Enjoy!

Thu Nov 15, 07:12:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger T. Lee said...

I'm so thrilled for you, Tricia. Enjoy the next stage; a whirlwind to be sure. Hopefully, you'll keep us informed on what that process is like. Congratulations!

Thu Nov 15, 12:54:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Thanks, Anne. Thanks, Tamara. I will definitely keep you informed on the process. From what I've read, the promotion part is every bit as challenging as the writing, since most writers are better suited to the reclusive, anti-social aspects of writing than they are to the networking, social aspects of promotion.

Thu Nov 15, 01:38:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger MelBell said...

This is so exciting, Tricia. I can't wait to read this. And get together in Toronto and talk about it, of course!

Thu Nov 15, 04:09:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Chumplet said...

That is fantastic! What a beautiful concept - I would never have thought of such a beautiful tribute to the women in our families.

Thu Nov 15, 07:19:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Suzie said...

and the child is born (almost)! Can't wait to get my copy, and offer a few. Congratulations and no doubt the promotion part will get your marketing days out of the closet real fast.

Thu Nov 15, 08:17:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Thanks for your good wishes, all.
Yes, looking forward to a Toronto reading, Mel. I hope I can make that happen.

Chumplet, maybe you can journey down from Newmarket. Interesting thought you have about the book being a tribute to the women in our families. I guess it is. I thought about many women I knew as I wrote the stories.

You're right, Suzie, my marketing genes have been reactivated. I'm building a plan already.

Fri Nov 16, 12:44:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

Congratlations, Tricia! I'm up to two copies for sure. One for me, and one for my eldest daughter.

Fri Nov 16, 07:11:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...

Huge congrats, Tricia. And of course I'll be buying a copy when it comes out.

Fri Nov 16, 08:51:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Chumplet said...

Let me know and I'll try to tear myself away from my super exciting Newmarket life LOL.

I'd love to meet a couple of you face to face.

Fri Nov 16, 10:24:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Thanks, Tony. Thanks, Steve. That makes three copies, so far. I'm on my way!

Will do, Chumplet. It would be great to meet you, too.

Sat Nov 17, 02:05:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

I'll take two copies! One to lend, one never to lend. Can't wait to see the book!

Mon Nov 19, 12:18:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Thanks, Andrew. Five copies, so far. I'm gonna be rich, incredibly rich!

Wed Nov 21, 01:34:00 pm GMT-5  

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