A father comes out to his daughter as a woman. Or at least, he was once a woman. It's complicated. Funny. Painful. Eventually joyful. Meanwhile the daughter, who was adopted, has her own identity issues. At the Aboriginal addictions treatment centre where she works, everyone assumes she is Indigenous. But is she? How can she find out? Cardinal Divide explores the hunger for certainty and the mutability of identity, whether of gender, race or sexuality. Authenticity isn't simple. Acting as somebody else is simultaneously a way to deceive and to explore the world. Characters who pass as male, as white, as straight, straddle the cardinal divides. And then, sometimes, passing is becoming.
About the author
Nina Newington’s first novel, Where Bones Dance, won the Writers’ Guild of Alberta Georges Bugnet Award in 2008. A former Kennedy scholar with an MA from Cambridge, she makes her living designing gardens and building things. English by birth, she and her American wife immigrated to Canada in 2006. They raise sheep on unceded Mi’kmaw territory near the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia.
An intricate, compelling tale narrated by a woman providing help and support to those who have lost their way, even while she unravels the mysteries of her own path through life. Cardinal Divide illuminates how the relationships we form throughout our lives transcend our cultural and sexual identities. This is a tale that topples our categorical assumptions about others, forcing us to ponder who we are and how we define ourselves.
Charlotte Mendel, author of Turn Us Again and A Hero