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THIS IS AGATHA FALLING (Pedlar Press, 2019)

 

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In her debut novella, THIS IS AGATHA FALLING, St. John’s singer-songwriter and photographer Heather Nolan’s characters stomp through smoky downtown bars dragging longing, trauma, illness, confusion, and addiction with them. Fragmented memory is her unreliable narrator, demonstrating how the past continually interrupts the present, asking, “How is one to determine which is memory, and which the dream?”

 


 

“In This is Agatha Falling, Heather Nolan captures the beer-soaked corners of St. John’s and the whirlwind of Montreal’s metro stations and streets, finding tension and romance there.”
– Eva Crocker, author of Barrelling Forward

 

 

“Heather Nolan weaves past and present, memory and action into an elegant tapestry that cleverly conceals its full picture until the very end. This is a confident and lyrical debut penned by an author of uncommon talent.”

– Sharon Bala, author of The Boat People

 

 

“This is Agatha Falling” (the title derives from a fictional hurricane) is Heather Nolan’s debut, a slim volume of a novella composed of interlinked vignettes. Novella in its Italian origin means new, but has come to apply to a specific length of prose; both meanings neatly dovetail here. Nolan has published poetry and also works in photography, an interest perhaps not coincidentally reflected in the visual elements and even the shape of her work.”

– Joan Sullivan, The Telegram

 

 

“The prose is intelligent without becoming too clever and self-aware, and I admire the restraint. Sometimes, less is more….

This is exploratory fiction which eschews traditional story structure and asks you to concentrate on the emotion. It reminds me a bit of Margaret Atwood’s poem ‘Journey to the Interior,’ or even more Gwendolyn MacEwen’s ‘Dark Pines Under Water’:

This land like a mirror turns you inward …
There is something down there and you want it told.

I look forward to more fiction from Nolan.”

– Michelle Hallett on Goodreads

 

 

“A short but mighty read from St. John’s-based author, musician, and CBC Poetry Prize longlister Heather Nolan awaits in This is Agatha Falling. Wander through a dreamlike downtown St. John’s with an unreliable narrator, where past and present collide and memory is fragmented. Journey Prize-winner Sharon Bala calls this novella “a confident and lyrical debut [that] weaves past and present, memory and action into an elegant tapestry that cleverly conceals its full picture until the very end.””

– All Lit Up, Read the Provinces selection for Newfoundland

 

 

“Her work is confident and innovative, and tackles familiar though important themes with fresh acumen. A short but mighty debut.”

– All Lit Up, First Fiction Friday