Books·Canadian

Tear

A book by Erica McKeen.

Erica McKeen

A reclamation of female rage and a horrifyingly deformed Bildungsroman.

Frances is quiet and reclusive, so much so that her upstairs roommates sometimes forget she exists. Isolated in the basement, and on the brink of graduating from university, Frances herself starts to question the realities of her own existence. She can't remember there being a lock on the door at the top of the basement stairs — and yet, when she turns the knob, the door won't open. She can't tell the difference between her childhood memories, which bloom like flowers in the dark basement, and her dreams. Worse still, she can't ignore the very real tapping sound now coming —insistently, violently — threatening to break through her bedroom wall.

With the thematic considerations of Mary Shelley and Shirley Jackson's work, and in the style of Herta Müller and Daisy Johnson, Tear is both a horrifyingly deformed Bildungsroman and a bristling reclamation of female rage. Blurring the real and the imagined, this lyric debut novel unflinchingly engages with contemporary feminist issues and explores the detrimental effects of false narratives, gaslighting, and manipulation on young women. (From Invisible Publishing)

Erica McKeen is a writer from London, Ont. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, longlisted for the Guernica Prize and shortlisted for The Malahat Review Open Season Awards. Tear is her first novel.

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