Jessica Westhead

Jessica Westhead’s fiction has been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards, selected for the Journey Prize anthology, and nominated for a National Magazine Award. Her short stories have appeared in major literary journals in Canada, the US, and the UK, including Hazlitt, Maisonneuve, Indiana Review, and Hamish Hamilton’s Five Dials. She is the author of the novel Pulpy & Midge and the critically acclaimed short-story collections Things Not to Do and And Also Sharks, which was a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book, a Kobo’s Best eBook of the year, and a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. Westhead is a creative writing instructor in The Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University.

On Festival Sunday Jessica Westhead will be part of our “Cabin Fever” set at The Mill from 1:45-2:45.

Worry

A riveting novel about a mother’s all-consuming worry for her child over forty-eight hours at a remote cottage with old friends and a mysterious neighbour, for fans of Little Fires Everywhere and Truly Madly Guilty.

Ruth is the fiercely protective mother of four-year-old Fern. Together they visit a remote family cottage belonging to Stef, the woman who has been Ruth’s best friend—and her husband’s best friend—for years. Stef is everything Ruth is not—confident, loud, carefree—and someone Ruth cannot seem to escape. While Fern runs wild with Stef’s older twins and dockside drinks flow freely among the adults, they’re joined by Stef’s neighbour Marvin, a man whose manic pursuit of fun is only matched by his side comments about his absent wife. As day moves into night and darkness settles over the woods, the edges between these friends and a stranger sharpen until a suspected threat takes an unexpected turn.