Arley McNeney played on Canada's national wheelchair basketball team from 2001 to 2007, winning two World Championships and a bronze medal at the 2004 Paralympics. She is a graduate of the University of Victoria's Creative Writing program and has completed her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she won two U.S. national championships with the Fighting Illini women's varsity wheelchair basketball team.

At age 24, Arley McNeney published a debut novel, Post (Thistledown, 2007), that follows Nolan Taylor, a retired wheelchair athlete forced to build a new identity in her post-basketball life. The novel was a finalist for the 2007 Commonwealth Writer's Prize, Best First Novel, Canada and the Caribbean

It was followed by The Time We All Went Marching (Goose Lane 2011), a novel that introduces a mother and son who find themselves trapped on a snowbound train heading west. McNeney weaves the situation of the mother and son with the past of a missing father. The novel chiefly explores the On to Ottawa Trek and the Regina Riots of the 1930s, two essential and cathartic events in Canadian labour history, during which the federal government and RCMP responded to the concerns of the unemployed with an iron fist.

According to publicity materials: "Strangely seduced by his yarns of Depression‐era work camps and stories of cross‐country treks that end in violence, Edie followed her husband Slim from mine to mine for a decade, he finding work when and where possible, she caring for their son, Belly, beneath the flimsy shelter of canvas tents. Now, Edie has left Slim behind, leaving him passed out in an unheated apartment on the coldest day of the year. On a snowbound train en route to Vancouver, Edie turns to a mixture of Slim's stories along with her own memories, both to comfort her son and to make a crucial
decision: should she leave Belly with his grandmother and strike off on her own? Should she return to Slim and his wandering, alcoholic ways? Has she, in fact, killed him by leaving him unconscious in the cold?"

Arley McNeney lives in Vancouver where she works as a communication consultant for wheelchair sports organizations. In 2011 she was also blogging about her recent hip replacement on her blog called Young and Hip.


Post (Thistledown, 2007)

The Time We All Went Marching (Goose Lane 2011) 978-086492-640-1 $19.95

[BCBW 2011] "Fiction"