In an ambitious, yet intimate novel set in Taos, New Mexico, and Hamilton, Ontario, Sally Cooper explores unexpected motherhood, creativity, race, love and faith. With My Back to the World tells the stories of three women: Rudie, who is editing a documentary in Hamilton in 2010; historical artist Agnes Martin, who decides in 1974 after seven years' exile in New Mexico to begin painting again; and Ellen, a black woman burying her husband in 1870 on an Ontario homestead. Each of these women is waiting for the arrival of an unexpected child and their interconnected stories explore how society's, and our own, ideas of what it means to be a woman, a mother and an artist change over time. Evocative and introspective, With My Back to the World tells the complicated stories of how different women find faith in themselves in extraordinary circumstances.
Sally Cooper is a Hamilton-based novelist, essayist and screenwriter. She is the author of the acclaimed novels Love Object and Tell Everything (Dundurn) and the linked story collection Smells Like Heaven (ARP). She has published widely in such places as Electric Literature, The Millions and TNQ: The New Quarterly. She is represented by Samantha Haywood at Transatlantic Agency.