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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.

Backcast received the following awards and honors:

  • Awarded 2018 Independent Publisher’s (IPPY) Silver Medal, Northeast – Best Regional Fiction.
  • Golden Crown Literary Society’s 2018 Ann Bannon Popular Choice Award, Short List.
  • Golden Crown Literary Society’s 2018 Lesbian Best General Fiction Award, Short List.

More About Backcast:

“Gossiping, bass fishing, wrestling matches, couples falling in love, and cathartic moments of self-knowledge. [Backcast is] a humorous take on writing and love.” —Library Journal

“Backcast is a memorable story about the unbreakable strength and resilience of women. Skillfully executed, the story is easy to become emotionally invested in, with characters that are guaranteed to entertain and enthrall.”Lambda Literary Review

Exceptional, entertaining, deftly crafted, inherently absorbing from beginning to end, Backcast is highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections.”Midwest Book Review

“Ann McMan did something so special with Backcast, that I’m not entirely sure how to talk about it. Part of me wants to be back in university so I can write an essay about how it handles storytelling and identity, and the rest of me just wants to tell you all to go read it now.”The Lesbian Review

“The characters on the pages of Backcast represent women of all ages and in all stages of life. They are as unambiguous as a well-organized tackle box, and it’s a privilege to “pier” into their lives.”Curve Magazine

“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.”Reviews by Amos Lassen

“You see it has me enthralled. I have to read it again. I don’t have a choice. One reading simply isn’t enough to garner even a part of the richness and depth of these women and their interactions.”The Lesbian Reading Room

“I’ve said it before and I stand by this statement: Ann McMan writes serious and touching fiction. Yes, the woman is hilarious with great timing and word smithing but her ability to get to the souls of the characters and strip them bare is incredible.”C-Spot Reviews

“Backcast illustrates how interconnected we are as women and as human beings, and your heart will fill with compassion for all of its characters.”Les Read Out Loud

“Ann McMan’s Backcast is smart, funny, unapologetic, and deeply moving—it’s the perfect story for the thinking, feeling, questing reader. I’m grateful to be the one to give voice to it.”Christine Williams, narrator, audible.com edition

Backcast is Fried Green Tomatoes meets The Big Chill by way of A River Runs Through It.

Publication Date: December 2015 by Bywater Books

Distributed to the trade by Consortium Book Sales and Distribution

Available from your local retailer, online and independent booksellers

Backcast is also available in the following formats:

Audiobook via Audible.com and Amazon.com

MP3 CD via Amazon.com