MacPherson, Andrea 1976-
MacPHERSON, Andrea 1976-
PERSONAL: Born 1976. Education: University of British Columbia, master's degree.
CAREER: Writer, editor, educator, and lecturer. Works as a freelance editor and lecturer; currently teaching writing with Malaspina University College and Simon Fraser University's writing and publishing program, and with University College of the Fraser Valley. Has also taught writing classes at various colleges, including Kwantlen University College and University College of the Fraser Valley. Served as editor of Prism International.
When She Was Electric (novel), Polestar (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 2003.
Natural Disasters: A Collection of Poems, Beach Holme Publishers (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 2005.
Contributor of poetry to Canadian and international magazines.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Beyond the Blue, a novel, for Random House Canada, and Away: Poems, about the author's travels.
SIDELIGHTS: Andrea MacPherson writes poetry and fiction. Her first novel, When She Was Electric, is set in the author's home province of British Columbia and follows three generations of nonconformist women represented by the narrator Ana, and Ana's mother Min, Aunt Nell, and Grandma Petrie. Confined by the need to conform in World War II Canada, the family deals with its tragedies, such as the death of Ana's younger sister, partially through the neglect of her mother, who has made some questionable decisions. The family property is also connected to a nearby Shulus Indian reservation, which is the object of prejudice involving both Min and Nell since they have been individually involved with members of the reserve. When a young girl disappears, Ana's life is forever altered.
Barbara Love, writing a review of When She Was Electric in Library Journal, noted "the quiet assurance of its writing and the hint of bigger things to come." A Kirkus Reviews contributor referred to the novel as a "lyrically somber, mannered debut," while Kerry Ryan, writing in Herizons, dubed it "a powerfully poetic story of secrets and departures that vibrates with the energy of family ghost and chilling events." Ryan also wrote that McPherson's novel "is quietly intense and beautifully written." In a review in the Globe & Mail, Jim Bartley liked the opening chapter, noting, "What a pleasure to encounter a masterful exposition, the sort that in a single chapter opens up a microcosm of humanity and the world. Within its first pages, this debut from … MacPherson seduces the senses and stirs the jaded heart, balancing life's journey … in an assured and tender grasp."
MacPherson told CA "I have been interested in all aspects of literature from a very young age. I have been reading and writing since I was a child and knew since grade school that I wanted to be a writer. There was never another career that inspired me the way that writing does.
"I am influenced by many writers: Alice Munro, Michael Ondaatje, Elizabeth Hay, and Michael Cunningham to name a few. I am inspired by anyone who uses language in an interesting way and creates characters that stay with me afterwards.
"I write every day. Some days it is new prose, some days poetry, and some days revision. Any given day can be a mix of any of these. It depends on my mood and what I feel inspired by at the time.
"My favourite book is always the one that I am currently working on. This is probably because it is what I am immersed in, and in turn what occupies my mind.
"I simply hope that people enjoy my work. Any connection I can forge with a reader is very satisfying."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Globe & Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), May 10, 2003, Jim Bartley, review of When She Was Electric, p. D12.
Herizons, winter, 2004, Kerry Ryan, review of When She Was Electric, p. 36.
Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2005, review of When She Was Electric, p. 251.
Library Journal, May 1, 2005, Barbara Love, review of When She Was Electric, p. 75.
Andrea MacPherson Home Page, www.andreamacpherson.com (June 3, 2005).
WomensWorkForce.com, http://www.womensworkforce.com/ (June 3, 2005), "Andrea MacPherson."