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Dressing for Hope

Dressing for Hope

Lorna Jackson's characters earn every scrap of comfort they get, sexual and otherwise. In the title story of Dressing for Hope, a bar singer finds her "future is getting crowded" when two ex-lovers turn up at the Hope Hotel to catch her gig, a third is on his way, and #2 gives her a phone message from #4. From the tiny stage, she notices the Harley women. "I admire how every step and glance is a sexual act. Their nail polish is libido. They wear tri-coloured rosebud tattoos in places I barely wash. They are as alert as I am to the mood of the room and pass through." "Round River" uses Paul Bunyan yarns to ease communication among a newcomer to a BC logging town, her lumberman lover Duff, and his very attractive 20-year-old son. Her deeply rooted inner conflicts almost sour the three-way relationship. But Duff finds the centre of peace and understanding for them all in a metaphor of work. "My father used to say, 'Hand-falling trees was so quiet,' but I've done it, too, and I know there's no difference. ... The bounce of timber hitting dirt is loud no matter how it was cut or who cut it."
Lorna Jackson is all too familiar with the road. For 9 years she played country music, mostly solo, in beer parlours and lounges in Vancouver and small-town BC. She quit touring to study writing at the University of Victoria. Stories from Dressing for Hope have appeared in Canadian Forum, Prism International, Canadian Fiction, the Fiddlehead, the Malahat Review, and in the anthology An Ounce of Cure.

"D.H. Lawrence would recognize the force under these stories, and Jackson taps into that force." — Kent Thompson

"A whip-smart joyride." — Mark Anthony Jarman

148 pages
Pub date: October 1, 1995