Tricia Dower quit her day job to become a writer. She thought it would be easier than sitting in a boardroom feeding hungry shareholders. She was wrong.

For two years she turned out stuff nobody wanted. Since then seven of her stories have appeared in literary journals. The feminist press, Inanna, published her story collection, Silent Girl, in 2008. In 2012 Penguin Canada published her debut novel, Stony River.

She’s earned less in ten years as a writer than she did in two weeks as a business exec. It just feels like more.


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.


Stony River, New Jersey, 1955. On a sweltering June afternoon, Linda Wise and Tereza Dobra witness a disturbing scene. A pale, pretty girl who looks about their age is taken from Crazy Haggerty's house by two uniformed policemen. Every one in Stony River thought Crazy Haggerty lived alone. The pale, pretty girl is about to enter an alien world. Tereza and Linda try to make sense of what they've seen, unaware their own lives will soon be shattered.

Set in a decade we tend to think of as a more innocent time, Stony River shows in dramatic and unexpected ways how perilous it was to come of age in the 50s. Here are absent mothers, controlling fathers, biblical injunctions, teenage longing and small-town pretense. The threat of violence is all around: angry fathers at home, dirty boys in the neighborhood, strange men in strange cars, a dead girl and another gone missing.

Stony River is an engrossing novel about growing up, finding your voice and forgiving your family.


Aunt Beth said...

I love Ashwin's Rules. I will use it in my presentation for an Intro to Lit class next week. You have great insite into these amazing children.I wonder what your experience is. I will look for more of your work to read (when my class is done and I have a bit more free time:) Will that ever happen, no so I won't wait till then.

Tricia Dower said...

Thanks, Aunt Beth. I'm thrilled you will use my story in your presentation. Please let me know how it turns out. My experience with autism is strictly through research and it was fascinating to learn about it and try to imagine how life would be for one child. I hope you manage to find more free time soon. Before long, I will have a book of stories for you to read.

Aunt Beth said...

Ashwin's Rules generated a great discussion in my Literature class. Most of those taking the class have experience working with children affected by Autism and were impressed with how well your story describes the life of a family affected by Autism.

when and by whom will your collection of stories be published?

Tricia Dower said...

Thank you so much for letting me know, Aunt Beth. I am so pleased that my story sparked such a discussion. My collection, "Silent Girl" will be published in the spring of 2008 by Inanna, the feminist press out of York University. You can read more about it in the post "Silent Girls and Goddesses," linked in the column on the left of this page.

H.E.Eigler said...

Tricia, I followed you here from the CWC....hope you don't mind :) Congrats again on your upcoming launch. Yes, I am an Islander at heart just momentarily misplaced in Calgary. If you are ever in town for a reading please let me know, I'd love to hear you speak! You can get in touch on my new blog or via email at

Just promise not to mention how the flowers are out if you come calling in February ;)

Tricia Dower said...

Thanks, Heather. I don't mind at all. I'll be in Calgary in the next few months, maybe June. It will be blooming there, too, I'll bet. I'll let you know when I have a date.