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Athabasca University

Angie Abdou

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Angie Abdou's fiction delves into our North American preoccupation with the body and all that flows from that subject: new life, growth, sexual attraction, physical conditioning, self-indulgence, aging and the fear of death. Her most successful novel, The Bone Cage (2007), explores the psychology of two athletes as they train intensely for the Olympic Games. A relationship develops between Digger, a wrestler, and Sadie, a speed swimmer, as they prepare for the Games and struggle to fulfill their dreams of a gold medal. The book title has a metaphor for the body but the narrative explores how the state of mind depends on the condition of the body as much as physical achievements are linked to mental and emotional conditions. The Bone Cage has become a favourite book of many athletes, not only because of its theme of sports psychology but also because of its engaging style. The Bone Cage was a finalist for the 2011 Canada Reads competition sponsored by the CBC.

With her novel, Between (2014), Abdou explores cultural differences in the relationship of two women: a Canadian working mother and her Philipino nanny. The author uses humour and critical self-examination to raise questions about motherhood and careers, middle-class guilt, class differences and human desire. Abdou's working title for this novel was Sweat, which suggests our obsession with the body-perfecting workout rather than the sweat of the hard-working nanny in the story. Athletic prowess is tested in Abdou's The Canterbury Trail (2011) as a number of diverse snow-enthusiasts travel by snowshoe or sled up and over a mountain. In her unique style Abdou combines humour and danger in her character studies. The title alludes to Chaucer's famous Canterbury Tales and suggests a morality tale about human behaviour in the backwoods.

Angie Abdou's first book was Anything Boys Can Do (2009), a collection of short stories which focus on women's changing life choices and sexual encounters. The physical differences between the bodies of men and women are interrogated as Abdou's women try to assert their general equality to men.

Angie Abdou was born and raised in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, a small city in the middle of the prairies. She earned her B.A. in English at the University of Regina (1991), and an M.A. in English from the University of Western Ontario (1992). She entered a Ph.D. program in Mediaeval Studies and left the program while working on her doctoral thesis. At this time she began writing fiction while recovering from a serious highway accident. She later earned her Ph.D. in English and Creative Writing from the University of Calgary (2009). Since 2001 she has been teaching English and creative writing at the College of the Rockies in B.C.

Updated March 16 2015 by Student & Academic Services

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