Books

PRICK: Confessions of a Tattoo Artist (Tightrope Books, 2011)

Meet twenty-one year old Anthony “Ant” Young: an artist, an asshole, an anti-hero. After fleeing a violent home life in Calgary, Ant moves to Victoria, BC, where he earns his tattooing apprenticeship under Hank the Tank, a founding member of the powerful Lucifer’s Choice motorcycle gang. Under Hank’s guidance, Ant learns the craft and business of tattoo, but he is also exposed to a vicious and frightening criminal underworld. Written in intense, rapid-fire bursts, PRICK explores themes of addiction, desire, and remorse. As Ant’s life spirals out of control, he struggles to hold on to the one thing he really cares about in this unforgettable, disturbing, and darkly funny tale.

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The New Normal (Orca Book Publishers, 2013)

This Young Adult novel is narrated by sixteen year old misanthrope Tamar Robinson as she navigates through a series of tragic and absurd events. Her twin sisters recently died in a car crash and Tamar is losing her hair. Her mother has become obsessed with yoga; her father has turned to beer. While grappling with the devastation of her hair loss, Tamar is fired from her first job, lands a role in the spring play, is suspended from school, and robbed at gunpoint. Somehow, she manages to survive it all, with the support of her best friend, Roy. Winner of the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize, voted Best Bets of 2013 by the Ontario Library Association, voted Top Ten Teen Reads by the Medicine Hat School District and Medicine Hat Public Library.

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Anatomy of a Girl Gang (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2013)

A sharp and gritty novel told in six voices, Anatomy of a Girl Gang is the powerful story of a gang of teenage women in Vancouver called the Black Roses, a.k.a. “the city’s worst nightmare.” They are: Mac, the self-appointed leader and mastermind; Mercy, the Punjabi princess with a skill for theft; Kayos, a high-school dropout who gave birth to a daughter at age thirteen; Sly Girl, who fled her First Nations reserve for a better life, only to find depravity and addiction; and Z, a sixteen-year-old anti-establishment graffiti artist.

Cast out by mainstream society, the five girls lash out: they terrorize Vancouver with a raw, restless urgency, setting fire to the world around them to try to erase their painful pasts. As the Black Roses, they rob ATMs, cook crack on stoves, and savagely beat anyone who dares to harm them. Brutal and broken, they claw at the knot of darkness and violence that tightens around their lives.

Told in stark, vivid, and fearless prose, Anatomy of a Girl Gang is a narrative punch to the throat, a screaming, spray-painted portrait of urban gang culture. Ashley Little’s sophomore book is a brutal, unflinching story of lost girls struggling for power, voice, and hope. Winner of the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award. Shortlisted for the ReLit Award. Longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. 

Niagara Motel (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016)

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Set in the early 1990s, Niagara Motel introduces readers to eleven-year-old Tucker Malone―the only child of a narcoleptic touring stripper―who believes his father is Sam Malone, the Boston barkeep who regularly appears on Tucker’s TV screen. He and his mother move from motel to motel until, one night in Niagara Falls, his mother is hit by a car after falling asleep in the street.

Tucker is sent to live in a youth group home where he meets Meredith, a pregnant sixteen-year-old with hopes of her own; he convinces her to join him on a road trip across the border to America in order to find his father, which takes them from Boston to the west coast. Along the way they encounter some of the most notorious criminals of the 1990s, and arrive in Los Angeles just as the Rodney King riots are unfolding.

Tucker’s cross-country search becomes an epic depiction of mid-90s America at a crossroads as seen through the eyes of a boy for whom finding his father is the one thing that will make him whole.

Told in spare, straightforward prose, Niagara Motel is a biting chronicle during the rise of mass-media in the decade that defined the MTV Generation, and the bittersweet story of a young boy who must learn hard lessons on his way to becoming a man.

Finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award.

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  1. […] new novel, Anatomy of a Girl Gang, has just been published and we couldn’t miss the chance to interview […]