Always Brave, Sometimes Kind
Coming September 2020 – Pre-Order Today!
Set in the cities, reserves, and rural reaches of Alberta, Katie Bickell’s debut novel is told in a series of stories that span the years from 1990 to 2016, through cycles of boom and bust in the oil fields, government budget cuts and workers rights policies, the rising opioid crisis, and the intersecting lives of people whose communities sometimes stretch farther than they know.
We meet a teenage runaway who goes into labour at the West Edmonton Mall, a doctor managing hospital overflow in a time of healthcare cutbacks, a broke dad making extra pay through a phone sex line, a young musician who dreams of fame beyond the reserve, and a dedicated hockey mom grappling with sense of self when she’s no longer needed―or welcome―at the rink.
Always Brave, Sometimes Kind captures a network of friends, caregivers, in-laws, and near misses, with each character’s life coming into greater focus as we learn more about the people around them. Tracing alliances and betrayals from different perspectives over decades, Bickell writes an ode to home and community that is both warm and gritty, well-defined and utterly complicated.
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Publisher: TouchWood Editions
Genre: A Novel told in Short Stories
2018 Alberta Foundation of the Arts Individual Artist’s Grant
2017 Alberta Literary Award’s Emerging Writer Award
2015 Alberta Literary Award’s Howard O’Hagan for Short Story
2014 Alberta View’s Fiction Prize
A coming-of-age story, Kicked offers an unflinching and heartfelt portrayal of unexpected pregnancy as the author recounts preparing for the arrival of her first child.
2019 Alberta Foundation of the Arts Individual Artist’s Grant
2011 Voices of Motherhood Essay Prize
Author’s Books Funded by