“I love Ann McMan.”—Dorothy Allison, National Book Award finalist forBastard Out of Carolina
“Ann McMan is the lesbian Armistead Maupin, only better.”—Lee Lynch, author of The Swashbuckler
When sculptor and author Barb Davis is given an NEA grant to pair original feminist sculptures with searing first-person essays about transitions in women’s lives, she organizes a two week writing retreat with some of the best, brightest, and most notorious lesbian authors in the business. In between regularly scheduled happy hours and writing sessions, the women enter a tournament bass fishing competition, receive life coaching from a wise-cracking fish named Phoebe, and uncover a subterranean world of secrets and desires that is as varied and elusive as the fish that swim Vermont’s Lake Champlain.
Backcast is richly populated with an expansive cast of endearing and outrageous characters who battle writer’s block, quirky locals, personal demons, unexpected attractions, and even each other during their two-week residency. For Barb and each of her twelve writers, the stakes in this fast-moving story are high, but its emotional and romantic payoffs are slow and sweet. Filled with equal parts laugh-out loud humor and breathtaking pathos, Backcast serves up a sometimes irreverent, sometimes sobering look at the hidden lives of women—and how they laugh, love, lose, and blunder through their own search for meaning.
“One of the amazing aspects of the book is the way comedy and pathos work side by side, and how wonderfully author McMan writes about them…If I had to classify this book, I would say that it is a look at empowerment and self-discovery.”—Amos Lassen, Reviews by Amos Lassen