Becky Blake and Nancy Jo Cullen | In Her Voice
June 17 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pmFree
Please join us for a special In Her Voice event with Becky Blake and Nancy Jo Cullen! These two rising stars will be celebrating the release of their debut novels, Proof I Was Here and The Western Alienation Merit Badge, respectively. Becky and Nancy will both be reading from their novels.
A book signing will conclude the event.
Monday June 17
6 to 8pm
Ben McNally Books
366 Bay Street
This is a free event. All are welcome.
What’s the point of trying to leave a mark when everything disappears? This question is at the heart of Proof I Was Here, a novel that tells the picaresque coming-of-age story of a young thief and aspiring artist who attempts to reboot her life on the streets of Barcelona after an unexpected breakup. Hailing from Toronto, where she has criminal charges waiting, Niki is outside of Canada for the first time. The pickpockets, squatters and graffiti artists she meets challenge her to reassess her ideas about luck and art. With the help of a passionate Catalan separatist who dreams of building a new country from the ground up, Niki realizes that starting her life over from scratch could be an opportunity &ndash if she can just find a way to clear her name.
Becky Blake is a two-time winner of the CBC Literary Prize (for Non-fiction in 2017 and Short Story in 2013). Her fiction and essays have appeared in publications across Canada. She holds an MFA from the University of Guelph, and teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Education. Becky currently lives in Toronto where she’s working on a second novel and a memoir-in-essays.
Set in Calgary in 1982, during the recession that arrived on the heels of Canada’s National Energy Program, The Western Alienation Merit Badge follows the Murray family as they struggle with grief and find themselves on the brink of financial ruin. After the death of her stepmother, Frances “Frankie” Murray returns to Calgary to help her father, Jimmy, and her sister, Bernadette, pay the mortgage on the family home. When Robyn, a long-lost friend, becomes their house guest old tensions are reignited and Jimmy, Bernadette and Frances find themselves increasingly alienated from one another. Part family drama, part queer coming-of-age story, The Western Alienation Merit Badge explores the complex dynamics of a small family falling apart.
Nancy Jo Cullen is the fourth recipient of the Writers’ Trust Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBT Emerging Writers. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph-Humber. Her fiction and poems have appeared in The Puritan, Grain, filling Station, Plenitude, Prairie Fire, This Magazine, Room and Arc Poetry Magazine. Her short story collection, Canary, was the winner of the 2012 Metcalf-Rooke Award. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.