Gritty, Provocative, Unsettling

Photo by Louie Castro-Garcia on Unsplash

What a dynamic start to our new program theme: “New Writers of the 21st Century” !

On March 1, 2022 the Calgary Women’s Literary Society held our first meeting of 2022 via Zoom, with member Doloris D. showcasing the work of Canadian author Heather O’Neill.

“Gritty, provocative and unsettling…sticks with you.” These are the words Doloris D. used to describe the fiction of Heather O’Neill. Doloris came to the works of Ms. O’Neill “cold”, starting to read her work in order to present on this year’s theme. She did not regret her choice.

Doloris noted that Ms. O’Neill’s fiction is set in an urban world of petty crime, addiction and violence. While it can be difficult to work through the painful stories, Heather O’Neill offers her readers resolutions with positive possibilities. Her protagonists can win “a place at the table” even when they start out in the most dismal of circumstances.

While her work is not autobiographical, it reflects the author’s unconventional and difficult childhood and youth. More on Ms. O’Neill’s life and work can be found in this interview with the author: Writers Trust [ youtube video] ECHEh8WstSA Nov 14, 2019 .

Thanks to Doloris for helping us get to know this fascinating author. I hope to fasten my seatbelt and discover Heather O’Neill’s fiction in the near future. More information can be found in Doloris’s summary here:

Our next meeting is on March 8, 2022, with member Janet H. presenting on author Michael Crummey.

If you are interested in joining our club, follow this link:

Leave a Reply