Writer Walker Marcia

5500 €

What to Think About When Looking at the Sky

Set in various towns and cities in Southern Ontario, the collection of stories in Things to Think About When Looking at the Sky, follow twelve females, from age eleven to seventy-three-years old, as they struggle in different ways to define themselves. In “Where Are All Your Porn Words Now?” a mother threatens her marriage and stable family life when she contemplates an affair with an underage babysitter. In “A Meditation on Dresses” a lawyer traces her relationship with her mother through dresses she’s owned. An eight-grader strives, in “Pitter Patter Goes My Heart,” to understand her sexual desire at a local dance while also negotiating the fear of a recent rape and murder in her neighbourhood. “Mating Imperatives” is a single-mother’s caustic adventure into on-line dating, desire, and the effect it has on her relationship with her teenaged son. In “The Treatment” a woman, unable to cope after the death of her girlfriend, seeks out “Jesus,” an alternative healer, while also tracking down the source of anonymous sexual texts she receives. Often funny, sometimes surreal, and at times veering on taboo, these stories offer a view of women from different ages, sexual orientations, and socio-economic backgrounds. Inspired by John Berger’s seminal book on art criticism, Ways of Seeing, the collection explores layers of perception, assumptions of gender, and women’s internalization of an external gaze. In each story a woman does not merely experience life, she continually watches her own performance of it. Whether searching for an artist mentor in a conservative Christian community in “A Small Town” or suffering the hostile aggression of a rescue dog in “Rey”, each character grapples with her own internal surveillance. Often, through the force of desire and sexual instinct, the characters must confront their truest selves and reconcile their wild nature with the roles of sister, daughter, mother, wife, and the very role of woman itself.