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Monday March 29, 2010 in Books
The Unnatural and Accidental Women is a surrealist dramatization of a thirty-year murder case involving many mysterious deaths in the “Skid Row” area of Vancouver. All the victims were found dead with a blood-alcohol reading far beyond safe levels, and all were last seen in the company of Gilbert Paul Jordan, who frequented the city’s bars preying on primarily middle-aged Native women. The coroner’s reports listed the cause of death of many of these women as “unnatural and accidental.”
Marie Clements reconstructs the lives of these women as shaped by lost connections—to loved ones, to the land, to a way of life—lives of at times desperate, at times tender yearning for ties of communication, belonging and shelter gone dead. These are precariously vulnerable lives, so easily drawn to their end by the heat and light of a flame, lives that thirst for an end of searching in forgetfulness.
Cast of 11 women and 2 men.
ISBN 13: 9780889225213 | ISBN 10: 889225214
5.5 W x 8.5 H inches | 128 pages
$17.95 CAN / $17.95 US
Backlist | Drama | Bisac: DRA013000
QUOTES OF NOTE
"One of the most affecting plays I have ever read … This gut-wrenching exploration of the racism and sexism inherent in the Canadian justice system is especially stirring in the wake of Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine. Clements is a brilliant storyteller and brings light and even playful moments to this stunning work."
“Marie Clements … has managed to turn a true story of murder and tragedy from what is gruesome and despicable at best into a beautifully presented and acted play … ”
“Poetry, multi-media, inventive staging, and arresting choral works honour the women’s lives and seek empowering narratives beyond the victimizing tropes of the media.”
“It’s an ambitious production, with over a dozen speaking parts, incorporating poetry, dance, native song and multi-media projection … An impressive, powerful work.”
Winner of the 1998 Jessie Richardson Award for The P.T.C. Award – Outstanding Original Play in Development
About the ContributorsMarie Clements
Marie Clements is an award-winning Métis performer, playwright and director whose work has been presented on stages across Canada, the United States and Europe. A fellowship award from the BC Film Commission enabled her to develop the film adaptation of her stage play, The Unnatural and Accidental Women. She is also a regular contributor on CBC Radio. The world premiere of Copper Thunderbird is the first time Canada’s National Arts Centre has produced the work of a First Nations playwright on its main stage.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.