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Whistler Reads: PEDAL by Chelsea Rooney

abstract:Our next Whistler Reads event is Thursday April 30th at the Nita Lake Lodge (Library) 7pm-9pm. (Tickets $15 Message Paula if you are a non-profit) Come meet Vancouver's new literary prodigy, fresh out of UBC's MFA program with her debut novel. Chelsea Rooney is the author of Pedal(published Caitlin Press)and named Book of the Year by the Canadian Publishing community. Now a finalist for the Amazon First Novel Award co-presented by Canada's premiere literary magazine, The Walrus!

Since its inception in 1974, The First Novel Award has launched the careers of some of Canada’s most beloved novelists, including: Michael Ondaatje, Joy Kogawa, Rohinton Mistry, Anne Michaels and Joseph Boyden." That means Whistlerites will have the opportunity to preview this talent before the announcement on May 21st. Come judge for yourselves.

I met Chelsea at a book event in Vancouver and was immediately taken by her candour and poise. Of the three authors on offer that evening, she was the most compelling speaker. Her novel deals with a difficult subject matter; sexual attraction between adults and minors, but she manages to take out the demons offering her own first person experience, effectively transformed into fiction. Her book intelligently asks questions that challenge the status quo on victimization.

We are reaching out to a few local Whistler non profit organizations with an offer to obtain copies of the book for your staff and network, and a few spaces for interested persons. Message me on our LIKE.

article:

April 07, 2015

About PEDAL

"Julia Hoop, a twenty-five-year-old counselling psych student, is working on her thesis, exploring an idea which makes her graduate supervisor squirm. She is conducting interview after interview with a group of women she affectionately calls the Molestas - women whose experience of childhood sexual abuse did not cause physical trauma. Julia is the expert, she claims, because she has the experience; her own father, a furniture designer and failed poet, disappeared when she was eight leaving behind nothing but his Dylan Thomas book, and a legacy of addiction and violence. But the more Julia learns, the less certain she is of what she believes. When both her boyfriend and her graduate advisor break up with her on the same day, Julia leaves her city of Vancouver on a bicycle for a cross-Canada trip in search of her father, or so she tells people.

Julia will visit the three cities from which he’s contacted her over the years: Banff, Alberta; Redvers, Saskatchewan; and Kingston, Ontario. Her unexpected travel partner is Smirks, a handsome athlete who also has a complicated history, and with whom Julia is falling in love. Their travel days are marked by peaks of ecstatic physical exertion, and their nights by frustrated drinking and drugs. After an unsettling incident in rural Saskatchewan involving a trio of aggressive children, Julia wakes up in the morning to discover Smirks has disappeared. Everything, once again, falls apart.

Sometimes shocking in its candour, yet charmed with enigmatic characters, PEDAL is an exploration of the potholes and pitfalls of identity. It is a close look at how we are shaped by accidents of timing: trauma and sex, brain chemistry and the landscape of our country. PEDAL challenges beliefs we hold about [attraction], the essence of innocence and the idea that the past is something one runs from."—from the Book Blurb

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