OUT NOW IN PAPERBACK
Aganetha Smart was a poor farm girl who could run like the wind.
But this was rural Canada in the 1920s when girls didn’t run, they didn’t train, they didn’t compete or dream of the Olympics and they certainly didn’t win.
Aganetha Smart was about to change all that.
‘Right from the start, the voice of Aganetha Smart grabs you. And it doesn’t let go until the very last page of this original and moving story. At time, it has something of the quirky charm of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’
‘a valuable reminder of how hard women have had to fight to be taken seriously as runners… a joy to read’
EXCLUSIVE: Carrie Snyder introduces Girl Runner
Aganetha Smart is a former Olympic athlete who was famous in the 1920s, but now, at age 104, lives in a nursing home, alone and forgotten by history.
When her quiet life is disturbed by the unexpected arrival of two young strangers, Aganetha begins to reflect on her childhood in rural Ontario and her struggles to make an independent life for herself in the city.
Without revealing who they are, or what they may want from her, the visitors take her on an outing from the nursing home. As ready as ever for adventure, Aganetha’s memories are stirred when the pair return her to the family farm where she was raised. The devastation of WWI and the Spanish flu epidemic, the optimism of the 1920s and the sacrifices of the 1930s play out in Aganetha’s mind, as she wrestles with the confusion and displacement of the present.
Part historical page-turner, part contemporary mystery, Girl Runner is an engaging and endearing story about family, ambition, athletics and the dedicated pursuit of one’s passions (by donna). It is also, ultimately, about a woman who follows the singular, heart-breaking and inspiring course of her life until the very end.
‘This is not the love song of Aganetha Smart.
No, and don’t talk to me of being weary and claiming one’s well-earned rest.
All my life I’ve been going somewhere, aimed toward a fixed point on the horizon that seems never to draw nearer. In the beginning, I chased it with abandon, with confidence, and somewhat later with frustration, and then with grief, and later yet with the clarity of an escape artist. It is far too late to stop, even if I run in my mind only, out of habit.
You do what you do until you’re done. You are who you are until you’re not.
My name is Aganetha Smart, and I am 104 years old.
Do not imagine this is an advantage’
Listen to a radio-play-style production of the first chapter of Girl Runner, produced for Calgary’s Wordfest.
This is what Carrie Snyder, author of the book, had to say about the recording:
‘When I heard Aggie’s voice – young and old – speaking here, it gave me chills. As a fan of old-school audio plays, this is truly a peak moment.Thanks to the actors for lifting the story off the page’
Carrie Snyder is the author of two books of short fiction. Her second, The Juliet Stories, soon to be published by Two Roads, was a finalist for the 2012 Governor General’s Award and a Globe and Mail Top 100 book. Girl Runner, her debut novel, has been shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.
Carrie lives in Waterloo, Ontario with her family and blogs as Obscure CanLit Mama.
ALSO BY CARRIE SNYDER, COMING IN OCTOBER 2015
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‘mature and powerful’
‘vivid and compelling’
Globe and Mail
‘a moving story, beautifully told’
Quill & Quire
‘fans of The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver will love this one’