MCKENZIE RAINE, Andrea




Author Tags: Fiction, Poetry

Andrea McKenzie Raine grew up in Victoria where she is longtime attendee of the Planet Earth Poetry reading series. With a B.A. in English Literature and a Certificate in Public Relations from the University of Victoria, she is a poet, novelist, book reviewer and government correspondence writer whose poetry has appeared in Mocambo Nights anthology, Canadian Literature, Quills, Tempus by Rubicon Press, Leafpress, Boulevard Magazine, Ascent Aspirations magazine, Poems from Planet Earth anthology and various chapbooks edited by Patrick Lane. Her first book of poetry, A Mother’s String (Ekstasis 2005), was followed a debut novel, Turnstiles (Inkwater Press 2013) available at Munro’s Books, Bolen Books, Tanner’s Books, Ivy’s Bookshop (Victoria); The Mulberry Bush Bookstore (Parksville and Qualicum); Shelf Life Books (Calgary).

According to publicity material for Andrea McKenzie Raine's novel Turnstiles (Portland: Inkwater Books 2013), "Martin Sourdough is a homeless person who has chosen to turn his back on the corporate, material world; Willis Hancocks Jr. is a barrister, an alcoholic philanderer, and a misogynist; and Evelyn (aka Yvonne) is a prostitute. Turnstiles speaks to these social problems through the smaller scope of each character's individual trials. There is a struggle that exists between the need to serve one's own needs and the expectation to participate in the larger social scheme. Martin and Willis are both trying to fit into the world, but on their own terms. They are naïve, searching for an Eden-like state of being. Through a broader experience of personal fortune, misfortune, travel, and social interactions, they each learn to accept their path and take control of their own destinies."

A longer synopsis: "Martin is a street person who has chosen to turn his back on the corporate, material world; Willis is a barrister who is also an alcoholic philanderer and a misogynist, and Evelyn (aka Yvonne) is a prostitute. Turnstiles speaks to these social problems through the smaller scope of each character’s individual trials. There is a struggle that exists between the need to serve one’s own needs and the expectation to participate in the larger social scheme. Martin and Willis are both trying to fit into the world, but on their own terms. Evelyn manages to motivate Martin, and indirectly connect the paths of Martin and Willis. They are naive characters, searching for an Eden-like state of being. Through a broader experience of personal fortune, misfortune, travel and social interactions, they learn to accept and take control of their own destinies. Martin is an idealistic young man in his late-twenties who leaves British Columbia, Canada to live in London, England. He travels to London with little money and no concrete plans. Eventually, he runs out of money and is forced to panhandle because he doesn’t want to join the work-a-day world, which he views as buying into materialism. Willis is a Londoner and a barrister who is in his early-thirties, and who recently lost his wealthy and estranged father. In his father’s will, Willis was left an obscene amount of money, which has already been deposited into his account in the wake of his father's death. In desperation, Willis makes out an unsigned cheque for the entire amount from his father and randomly gives it to a street person, who happens to be Martin. Evelyn is a character who appears in mid-travel, in the midst of her own lost self, and manages to motivate Martin and indirectly connect the paths of Martin and Willis. Turnstiles weaves a story that brings self-discovery and healing for each character by way of a journey."

BOOKS:

A Mother’s String (Ekstasis 2005)

Turnstiles (Portland: Inkwater Books 2013) $16.95 9781629010120

[BCBW 2014]