Jen Neale is a novelist and short story writer based in Vancouver, B.C. Her first book is the novel Land Mammals and Sea Creatures, the story of a woman's return to her small hometown and her attempts to rescue her war veteran father from PTSD. Neale's short stories have been published in Canadian magazines like The Puritan, This and The Masters Review. In 2012, she was awarded the Bronwen Wallace Award for emerging writers for her story The Elk-Headed Man.
Land Mammals and Sea Creatures is on the shortlist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.
- Jen Neale reminds us animals have lives too with novel Land Mammals and Sea Creatures
- Jen Neale's favourite Canadian book of 2018: Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot
- Jen Neale on the value of fiction with empathy and compassion at the centre
Books by Jen Neale
"I wrote the novel for my MFA thesis at the University of British Columbia. I had to write a novel within a certain timeframe. The first idea that randomly came to me was about the environment — what if it got so bad that the animals didn't want to live anymore? Then it was about coming up with characters that would go around this scenario.
What if it got so bad that the animals didn't want to live anymore?- Jen Neale
"I've written a lot of short stories with magical and fabulous elements to them. Fantastical elements are much easier to sustain in a short story because you can just stay completely in that imaginary space. I did find it a challenge for the novel in trying to maintain both the realistic storyline of the characters and then this magical element with the animals.
"I think they worked out, in a parallel fashion, in the end. They didn't necessarily directly inform each other, but they both had their own track within the story."
Interviews with Jen Neale