Angie Abdou (Canadian Fiction Writer and novelist)
|Born||11 May 1969
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan,
|Alma mater||University of Regina; University of Western Ontario; University of Calgary|
|Notable works||The Canterbury Trail|
Angie Abdou (born 11 May 1969) is a Canadian fiction writer. Her most recent novel, Between, was published by Arsenal Pulp Press in 2014. Her shorter works have been published in several Canadian journals.
Early life and education
Abdou was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, where she spent her early childhood. She received a B.A. (Honours) from the University of Regina (Saskatchewan) in 1991, an M.A. (English) from the University of Western Ontario in 1992, and an PhD (English in the Field of Creative Writing and Canadian Literature) from The University of Calgary in 2009. She currently lives in Fernie, British Columbia, Canada and is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Athabasca University (Canada's only open university). She lives with her husband, Martin Hafke, and her two children, Oliver and Katherine.
Abdou's first collection of fiction, Anything Boys Can Do, was published in 2006 by Thistledown Press. B.C. BookWorld praised the collection as "an extraordinary literary debut." The book deals with contemporary heterosexual relationships and addresses topics such as infidelity and miscommunication between the sexes. In The Victoria Times Colonist, Brownen Welch claims that "Abdou confirms for us that the female frame is capable of holding within itself a multiplicity of complications and contradictions." Welch praises Abdou for finding a nonjudgemental language with which to discuss female sexuality.
Abdou's first novel, The Bone Cage, was published in 2007 by NeWest Press. The novel follows the lives of two Olympic athletes near the end of their careers and explores the connection between body and identity. It describes elite athletics with much detail. A review in VUE Weekly (Edmonton, Alberta) states: "Angie Abdou's debut novel, The Bone Cage, finds its heart ... daring to question what happens to athletes who put everything else on hold for a chance at the Olympics ... What lurks in the shadows of elite athletics is what makes Abdou's follow up to Anything Boys Can Do, a book of short stories, so compelling". The Bone Cage's themes, though, are also relevant outside the world of athletics. In Canadian Literature a reviewer writes: "The Bone Cage extends past sport, exploring the tentative relationship between people and their bodies. Are we simply prisoners of our own "bone cage," predestined by our body, or can we overcome the limits of our body? Do we even want to overcome our body, or is it simply inseparable from ourselves? The Bone Cage's questioning of an inherent self-body dichotomy reaches out universally, involving not only sport, but also illness and death. Ultimately, because Abdou does not offer concrete answers for these questions, she shows that though the specific relationship between body and self is individualized, our struggle to reconcile them is universal." The Bone Cage was a finalist for CBC's 2011 Canada Reads and was defended by ex-NHL player Georges Laraque. Shortly after the 2011 Canada Reads debates, The Bone Cage was selected as The MacEwan Book of the Year for the 2011–2012 academic year. Past recipients of this honour include Margaret Atwood, Yann Martel, Annabel Lyon, Thomas Wharton, and David Adams Richards.
Abdou's second novel, The Canterbury Trail, originated as a dissertation project at The University of Calgary. This novel was released in February 2011 by Brindle and Glass Press (Victoria, BC). It was a finalist for the 2011 Banff Mountain Book Festival Book of the Year Award in the Literature category. The Canterbury Trail also won a 2012 IPPY (Independent Publishing Award, Gold Medal for Canada West).
Aboou's newest novel is Between. Published by Arsenal Pulp Press in August 2014, this novel explores the lives of two women: Ligaya (a nanny from the Philippines) and Vero (an overextended working mother in North America). The Library Journal selected as a Top Indie pick for Spring 2015. '
The Bone Cage was also selected by Kootenay Library Foundation as the feature book for its first annual "One Book, One Kootenay" celebration (launched 8 September 2009).
CBC's Book Club also voted it the number 1 sport book in July 2010.
Abdou is an enthusiastic instructor of creative writing who teaches courses and workshops at College of the Rockies, Sage Hill Teen Writing Experience, Write in the Kootenays and The Fernie Writers' Conference. She is also an active member of the Sport Literature Association.
- Anything Boys Can Do (short stories), 2006, Thistledown Press
- The Bone Cage, (novel), 2007, NeWest Press
- The Canterbury Trail, (novel), 2011, Brindle and Glass Press
- Between, (novel) 2014, Arsenal Pulp Press
- "Teen Program Faculty". sagehillwriting.ca. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
- "Angie Abdou – Official Website of the Author – About the Author". abdou.ca. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
- "Angie Abdou – Department of English". english.ucalgary.ca. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
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- "Allan Twigg 2006". Abcbookworld.com. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Colonist, Times (7 January 2007). "Victoria Times Colonist 2007". Canada.com. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "Vue Weekly, September 2007)". Vueweekly.com. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Canadian Literature. "Claire Duncan in Canadian Literature Review, Summer 2008". Canlit.ca. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "Official MacEwan Book of the Year site". Macewan.ca. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Library Journal (March 2015). "Barbara Hoffert Top Indie Fiction". Library Journal.
- "Kootenay Library Federation". Klf.bclibrary.ca. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- [dead link]
- "Gooooooal! Here's the score on our list of Top 10 Sports Books". CBC News (CBC.ca). Retrieved 14 September 2012.
- "Faculty Biographies – Arts and Sciences – University Studies – College of the Rockies, BC, Canada". Cotr.bc.ca. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "Teen Program Faculty". Sagehillwriting.ca. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "Instructors | The Fernie Writers Conference – 2012". Ferniewriters.com. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Angie Abdou's Website
- Angie Abdou on Twitter
- Abdou in the Writers' Union of Canada
- Abdou in BC BookWorld
- Sask Publishers' Review of Anything Boys Can Do
- The Quest for the Gold, article on Abdou in Prairie Books Now
- Search for Embodiment in The Bone Cage, review in Canadian Literature
- The Bone Cage – the Perfect Companion to the Olympics, Review in Journal of Sport Literature
- Two contrasting views of elite performance in Black Swan and The Bone Cage