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The cover of Smoked Meat

Photo: ‘White Chevy, Red Trailer’ by John Salt 1975, used by kind permission of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Though smothered in snow half the year, Montreal’s demi-monde burns with the secret hurts and poignant epiphanies of those living there. Through the lives of its inhabitants, Smoked Meat paints a portrait of a vibrant melting pot that is buzzing with sexual braggadocio and illicit opportunities.

When he falls in love with a man in a sauna, a student devastates his waitress girlfriend. Meanwhile, a life-model upsets the delicate equilibrium between two artists and a teenage shop assistant does what she can to lose her virginity to her boss.

Rowena Macdonald takes us into the lives of people living on the dilapidated margins of Montreal. The city’s seedy mores are slowly corrupting their innocence, turning them, like Montreal’s signature dish, from green to smoked meat.



'‎These are stories of interlopers and of (North) Americana, as evocative of Douglas Coupland’s Generation X as they are James Joyce’s ‘The Dead’.'
Gavin James Bower in 3:AM Magazine
'A really rather fine piece of writing.'
Scott Pack in Me and My Big Mouth
'Macdonald’s real talent is in reimagining believable characters inspired by her experiences, the people and places she encountered during her own time in Montreal. Smoked Meat’s settings and surroundings are inextricably linked to and profoundly impact upon her characters’ movements, decisions and lives. The haunting repetition of certain locations – of bars, cafes and restaurants – epitomises this. Her characters change along with the seasons'.
Gabriella Swirling in Cadaverine

‘Confident, funny and poignant – Macdonald’s world draws the reader in irresistibly.’ Jane Rogers


‘Deliciously erotic and hugely readable, with some wonderful moments of illumination.’ Maureen Freely 

'Engaging, raw, inventive and, occasionally, surprising, this finely tuned and accomplished first collection confirms that, in the right hands, the short story remains as valid and as potent, as vigorous and as rewarding, as ever.' Robert Edric

To buy this book:

Smoked Meat costs £8.99 and was published in November 2011.
ISBN: 9781906601331

Rowena Macdonald

Rowena Macdonald grew up in the West Midlands. While living in Montreal after graduation, she worked as a waitress, bartender, life-model and cleaner. She now lives in London and works at the House of Commons. Her stories have appeared in anthologies published by Serpent’s Tail, Roast Books and the Do-Not Press. She has won several prizes for her short fiction, including two Asham Awards.

Author photo: © Bridget Macdonald

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Web site design by Cornwell Internet. Page last updated on 26th September 2012.