A raw and riveting coming-of-age story about the wild love of teenage friendships and the casual oppression of 90s rape culture.
Emelia Symington-Fedy grew up with her girl gang on the railroad tracks of a small town in British Columbia. Unsupervised and wild, the girls explored the power and shortcomings of “best” friendships and their growing sexuality.
Two decades later an eighteen-year-old girl is murdered on Halloween on the same tracks, and Symington-Fedy returns to her hometown to stay with her mother, who is fearful of a murderer at large.
While the media narrows its focus on how the girl dared be alone on the tracks, Symington-Fedy slowly comes to terms with the mistreatment of her own teenage body. Giving a bold and often darkly humorous first-hand account of nineties rape culture and the sexual coercion that still permeates girlhood, Symington-Fedy holds her hometown close and accountable and exposes the subtle ways that misogyny shows up daily. Award-winning poet and author Aislinn Hunter describes Skid Dogs as a “riveting, raucous and tender look at growing up a girl in a boy’s world. […] Beautifully written and bravely told, this book is the Stand By Me for girls that’s been far too long in coming.”
About the author
Emelia Symington-Fedy grew up in Armstrong, BC. She has worked as an essayist, storyteller and documentary producer for CBC radio and is the co-artistic director of The Chop Theatre. She is the creator of the popular blog and radio show that became an audiobook, Trying to Be Good: The Healing Powers of Lying, Cheating, Stealing, and Drugs (Author's Republic, 2017). After living an urban life for many years, Symington-Fedy and her family are now enjoying life back in Armstrong, on their rural property near a lake.
“In this raw and vulnerable memoir, Emelia Symington-Fedy adopts her reader into a group of girls, vicious and protective as a pack of dogs, as they navigate a world where bruises are currency, gossip brings celebrity and every boy has the power to smear a girl’s radiance. Skid Dogs is a visceral and shameless peak under the hemline of girlhood.
Susan Sanford Blades, author of <i>Fake It So Real</i>
“An exquisitely written account of the brutality of coming of age, Skid Dogs dives into the lives of a group of small-town teenage girls. A denunciation of the patriarchy, at its core Skid Dogs celebrates female friendships and mother/daughter relationships in all their complicated glory. Fuelled by palpable grief and rage, this moving, hilarious, gripping memory piece wraps the dual themes of loss of innocence and loss of sanctuary around each other, ultimately asking: who is the enemy?”
Carmen Aguirre, actor, playwright and author of <i>Mexican Hooker #1</i> and <i>My Other Roles Since the Revolution</i>
“This book is real life and that’s what makes it haunting: it’s laughing off rape because that’s what’s expected of you, it’s forever friendships that keep you afloat. Beautifully written and bravely told, this riveting, raucous memoir is the Stand By Me for girls we’ve all been waiting for.
Aislinn Hunter, author of <i>The Certainties</i>