Thursday, March 17, 2011

Jean Rae Baxter

When anyone comments that there is a contradiction in producing two very different kinds of writing, Jean Rae Baxter’s answer is that life is full of contradictions. In literature it is called irony, and irony is at the heart of her first collection of short stories, A Twist of Malice, which was published to critical acclaim in 2005. At the same time that she was writing short stories about the dark side of apparently everyday lives, she was working on an historical novel about a courageous Loyalist girl during the period of the American Revolution. This novel, The Way Lies North, was released in the fall of 2007. For her second novel, she returned to crime. Her literary murder mystery, Looking for Cardenio (2008), centred upon the discovery of an old manuscript that might be a lost play by Shakespeare. For her third novel, she returned to historical fiction. Broken Trail (2011) follows some of the characters who appeared in The Way Lies North, focusing upon the plight of the native people during the American Revolution. With the publication of The Runaways in 2012 she will complete her trilogy dealing with this historical period. As before, she has interspersed novel writing with the crafting of short stories. A second collection of short fiction, Scattered Light, is scheduled for publication in the fall of 2011.

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