Angie Abdou was born in Moose Jaw in May of 1969. She didn't get nominated for the Giller Prize and she didn't get invited to the fancy-pants festivals (the ones where publishers are often required to cough up dough in return for having their authors selected), but she did make an extraordinarily literary debut with her collection of stories, Anything Boys Can Do.

The atypical title story describes a woman watching her young nephew compete in a brutal championship wrestling match, almost losing his eye. More frequently, Abdou describes young women exploring beyond traditional limitations, including monogamy. A father introduces his daughter to a golfing buddy. "This is my daughter. She's a Buddhist. This week." Overall, there's an alluring combination of tomboy'ish bravado and sophisticated humour. "Why is it that nobody in GAP World ever gets a cold sore?" But there's more to Abdou than brisk asides and clever dialogue. In 'Bruised Apples', a childless and uninspired academic leaves home to work in a friend's orchard and to collect her thoughts, only to conclude her marriage is worth saving.

In Abdou's first novel, The Bone Cage, Digger, an 85-kilo wrestler, and Sadie, a 26-year-old speed swimmer, are nearing the end of their athletic careers but striving to win a gold medal at the Olympics. They are racing against time as their bodies will soon no longer allow them to compete at the top levels of their respective sports. According to press material, "The blossoming relationship between Digger and Sadie is tested in the intense months leading up to the Olympics, which, as both of them are painfully aware, will be the realization or the end of a life's dream." The novel was completed while Abdou was still swimming competitively at the Masters level. She began competitive speed swimming at age four.

After completing a BA in English at the University of Regina, Abdou moved to London, Ontario for graduate work in English at the University of Western Ontario. She briefly lived in Calgary before moving to Fernie, where she teaches at the College of the Rockies while living with her husband, Marty, and her son, Oliver. In 2008 she was invited to give the Beth Maloney Memorial speech to the AGM of the College of BC Physiotherapists, discussing her novel and sports medicine.

The Canterbury Trail (Brindle & Glass, 2011) is Abdou's novel about a 'mishmash of snow enthusiasts' that includes rednecks, hippies, and a real estate developer high on mushroom tea, who make the trek to a remote backcountry cabin.

In her novel, Between (Arsenal Pulp Press $18.95), a young couple move from a "sweet suite" above the husband's parents' garage to their own place. Adulthood threatens to become too much for them as they balance the demands of two kids, two cars and two jobs. Enter Ligay, a live-in nanny from the Philippines. Abdou draws a portrait of two women from different cultures as she tackles the issue of the ubiquitous foreign nanny in a North American upper middle-class society where many citizens are filled with a sense of entitlement and superiority.

When Angie Abdou challenged her daughter, Katie to hike a peak a week with her over the summer holidays one year, she learned some valuable lessons – most importantly that she loved hiking but Katie doesn’t. She writes about their bonding experiences in This One Wild Life: A Mother-Daughter Wilderness Memoir (ECW $21.95).

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In her preceding book, Angie Abdou gave us a truthful account of her experiences as a hockey mom, frankly describing her young son’s sporting experiences on and off the ice in Fernie.
Now, over the course of the summer holidays, she takes to the great outdoors with her daughter, Katie. Their peak-a-week adventures are shared in This One Wild Life: A Mother-Daughter Wilderness Memoir (ECW $21.95). “Writing this book taught me the value of a simple life, the restorative powers of nature, the serenity to be found in a simple walk in the woods and the happiness of spending as much time as possible with my immediate family,” says Abdou.
Yes, Katie and Mom bonded. And an important lesson was learned. Abdou, herself a serious athlete, has a passion for the great outdoors and hiking; Katie does not. 9781770416000 [BCBW 2021]

BOOKS:

Anything Boys Can Do (Thistledown, 2006) 1-897235-12-7 $18.95
The Bone Cage (NeWest Press, 2007) 978-1-897126-17-2 $22.95 CDN/US
The Canterbury Trail (Brindle & Glass, 2011) 978-1-897142-50-9 $19.95
Between (Arsenal Pulp Press 2014) $18.95 978-1-55152-568-6
Writing the Body in Motion (UBC Press 2018) with Jamie Dopp $34.99 978-1-77199-228-2
This One Wild Life: A Mother-Daughter Wilderness Memoir (ECW, 2021) $21.95 9781770416000

[BCBW 2021] "Fiction" "Women"