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Critical Praise

“Gowdy writes astonishingly well... A suspense novel with great characters and a solid plot.”

——Winnipeg Free Press

“Gowdy’s commitment to testing and expanding the bounds of empathy is a common thread throughout her impressive and diverse body of work; she consistently zeros in on strange minds, on propositions of difference in consciousness, which she then resolves through a kind of sympathetic intervention. Among the various forms that internal otherness can take, aberrant desire is Gowdy’s specialty. Helpless is an honest an engaging character study with a pinch of suspense thrown in… a good introduction to Gowdy’s intelligence and accomplishment. Deftly and with the illusion of innocence, she renders the alien native. Hers is a peacemaking genius, unique in its talent for the translation of strangeness to second nature, repulsiveness to sorrow and insane to ordinary.”

——The Globe and Mail

“It is perhaps something of an understatement to note that Barbara Gowdy has long been one of Canada's boldest writers. Whether with her short fiction or her novels, every new work seems to press against the boundaries of both literary style and societal acceptance. With a razor-sharp emotional acuity, a stoic detachment and a pared, incisive prose style, Gowdy routinely looks beyond preconceptions and accepted norms in pursuit of underlying truths, truths which disturb. Truths which transgress.”

——Ottawa Citizen