Born in Vancouver in 1976, Andrea MacPherson of Cloverdale, B.C., has her MFA in Creative Writing from UBC where she was also the Editor of Prism International. She has worked as a freelance writer and editor, and has taught writing classes with Kwantlen University College and University College of the Fraser Valley. Her writing has appeared in Canada, the UK, the Republic of Ireland and New Zealand.

Her first novel When She Was Electric (2003) centres on the accidental death of a young girl in Merritt, B.C. during the 1930s and its effects on three generations of women: The enterprising grandmother who bought a rejected piece of land near an Indian Reserve; the daughters, ethereal Min and bold Nellie; and granddaughters Ana and Willa, who embody the hopes--and the secrets--of the family. MacPherson reveals the unreliability of memory, the fragility of life, and how a child's death haunts a splintered town. A Globe & Mail reviewer described the debut novel as daunting and sophisticated.

In Andrea MacPherson's second novel, Beyond the Blue (Random House $29.95), four women in the Scottish mill town of Dundee struggle to survive in 1918. The story chiefly concerns Morag, who works in the jute mill, her two daughters, Caro and Wallis, as well as Morag's orphaned niece Imogen, during a period when many men are absent due to World War One. While Wallis works with her mother at the mill and painstakingly saves her money in order to escape from Dundee, her beautiful sister Caro hopes to free herself from Dundee via a calculated love affair. Beyond the Blue incorporates the suffragette movement, an influenza epidemic and historical events such as the Tay Bridge disaster and the Easter Uprising. MacPherson's grandmother grew up in Dundee across the street from the Bowbridge Works jute mill, where MacPherson's great-grandmother worked.

BOOKS:

Ellipses (Signature Editions 2014) - poetry
When She Was Electric (Raincoast Books, 2003) - novel
Natural Disasters (Palimpset Press, 2007) - poetry
Beyond the Blue (Random House, 2007) - novel
Away (Signature Editions, 2008) - poetry

[BCBW 2014] "Fiction" "Poetry"