From whispers in a Soviet-era khrushchyovka apartment, to an abandoned church in the Russian wilderness, a woman uncovers her devastating heredity.
Alyona, disfigured in a childhood accident she does not remember, returns to Saint Petersburg to care for her estranged grandmother and investigate her tragic family history. Irina Alexandrovna, haunted by memories of siege and starvation in war-ravaged Leningrad, will do anything to prevent Alyona from discovering the truth, which lies in the depths of a barren forest. Local villagers refuse to acknowledge that place – Poteranoe Pole – the Lost Field.
I began the first version of this work in 2009, though it doesn’t resemble that early draft in the least. Since that time, Birch has undergone painstaking revision and several significant re-writes. The greatest shift came about after an extended stay in Saint Petersburg, where I lived with extended family and reconnected with my own family history. In 2015, Birch was long-listed for the Richell Prize for Emerging Writers.
Status (2018) Preparing manuscript for submission.
Bury the Sun
Freak, behemoth, loner: May is an outsider in the regional town of Blaire. A cleaner in an animal shelter, she has an affinity with broken things, like the dangerous dogs she helps put down. When she is assaulted by the owner of a euthanized dog, the attack is witnessed by a delinquent sixteen year old named Layla. Bury the Sun follows these two very different women, trapped in the crucible of a small town where no action goes unnoticed and no past unpunished.
Status (2018) First edit. 100,000 words and culling.
Cabinet of Wonders
Status (2018) Writing draft zero. 70,000 words and growing.