What is your latest release and what genre is it? Something Unremembered – Historical fiction/contemporary realism/magic realism
Quick description: The narrator of the story is Janine LaFoy, a late 20th-century woman living in Alberta, with roots in French-Canadian Catholic culture. One would hardly think an outlying college town on the prairies would be the place a woman from the 15th century would choose to reveal her story, but when Janine begins to discover the story of Madeleine of Beauvais interpolated in the pages of her beloved books about the history of art and culture, an enigmatic presence begins to form. Mystified by references to Madeleine which seem to appear in her books only to disappear again, and unhappy with her own restless ever-aftering, Janine becomes preoccupied with uncovering the secrets of Madeleine’s life.
This book began by imagining how a subjugated history, a story that could not keep peace with being forgotten, bubbles up between the lines of 20th-century Janine LaFoy’s art and cultural history books.
Della Dennis is a music educator and historian. As a missionary kid in Africa, she grew up in the shadow of a protestant ethic where fiction ranked among the lower orders of creation. As an adult she returned to her birthplace and settled in Edmonton. When her children were safely grown and on their own, she fell from grace and began to write. She wrote and privately published the story and documents relating to her grandmother’s early life and journey (as an 11-year old without her parents) to Canada in 1904. Something Unremembered is her first novel.
What are you working on now?
I am just beginning a second novel that takes place at the same time as Something Unremembered and features many of the same characters. In this story, the narrator, Janine, makes different choices. As a result, her interests and challenges and the course of her life turn out quite differently.
Della’s reading recommendation:
I have been reading Charissa’s Shoes by David Gay, a satiric, dystopian novel that is both absurd and prophetic. It is a startling reflection on the potential for cyber terrorism in the modern era. It was written before the Trump era, and mostly takes place in Canada, but some of the ludicrous behaviour of people seeking power could have been taken from today’s news. Next up, for a change of pace, I am looking forward to reading Evelina, an 18th-century novel recently reissued by Edmonton’s Stonehouse Publishing.