A Trillium Book Award Finalist
Women are too often cast in literature as inherently good and dependable—but this is not the case in the audacious stories of Waiting for the Cyclone.
Mary, a closet drinker, leaver her children with Debbie, a seemingly perfect housewife who shoots pharmaceuticals at night. Alison vacations with her husband, but wakes up in the tattooed arms of another man. Donna lies to her family about volunteering in Afghanistan so she can parasail with a lover in Turkey.
With authenticity and intensity, Dean challenges traditional literary archetypes by revealing female characters that are nuanced, contradictory, and boldly unapologetic.
"In Waiting for the Cyclone, Leesa Dean gives us an original, honest voice. Far from shelter, readers will find themselves pulled closer and closer to the ye of this storm. Brace yourself: These women are unflinchingly real. You will not be able to look away." —Elisabeth de Mariaffi, author of How to Get Away with Women, nominated for the Giller Prize
In Dean's eclectic debut collection of short fiction, women take center stage. The stories flit across Canada and the Americas, telling tales of summer romances, hitchhiking in Alberta, and love so overpowering that it crushes its object. Bound by nothing but the intention to portray women's interior landscapes, these stories present imperfection in all its glorious variety: a mother enters rehab to treat her alcoholism, leaving her kids with a family friend who is hiding her own pharmaceutical addiction; a married woman wakes next to a beautiful stranger; circumstances bond two drastically different women in friendship; a teen goes in search of the mother who abandoned her as a baby, with no success. Focusing on how circumstance can change the pacing of relationships, these stories zoom in on the ways in which the characters are "no longer in sync." "The Four Bradleys," with its carefully interwoven narratives presenting different interpretations of the central action, is the standout story of this collection from a promising new author.