Cate is by all accounts normal—on the precipice of graduating college, she lives with her boyfriend, goes out with friends, works an unfulfilling grocery store job, and dreams of a better life. A better life that she thinks she will deserve once she has an enviably slim waistline. Setting herself on a dangerous path, and propelled forward by careless comments from those closest to her, Cate doesn't realise she needs help until it’s almost too late. Told in four parts, Pretty Delicate is the story of a young woman’s perseverance through her eating disorder and into something like recovery.
Photo by Dr. Jordan Bolay
Allie McFarland is the author of Disappearing in Reverse (UCalgary Press, 2020) and Pretty Delicate (AOS forthcoming, February 2023). She completed her MFA in Writing at the University of Saskatchewan, where she wrote her SSRHC-funded and award-nominated thesis, Pretty Delicate. Allie is a member of the Writer's' Union of Canada. She is a bi settler from Treaty 7 territory (Calgary) who currently resides on the unceded territories of the Scia’new / Beecher Bay First Nation with her partner, chubby cat, and excitable puppy. Allie runs a not-for-profit consignment bookstore on the unceded territories of the Lekwungen people of Vancouver Island.
"Allie McFarland has written a book that articulates the unease of new adulthood in a visceral way, mapping grief across Western Canada with a sharp eye to detail, creating an instant staple in Western-Canadian literature."
Erin Emily Ann Vance, author of Advice for Taxidermists and Amateur Beekeepers
Tom Sandborn, Vancouver Sun
"The picaresque novel is not a common genre—there are few that feature a woman protagonist, and even fewer that are written by women. McFarland captures the essence of picara-hood and the frenetic energy of youth while giving us a truly unexpected central figure."
Jesse Holth, Canthius
"Our narrator is always a mirror of where she has been, effecting an elaborate and nostalgically melancholic deflection of the self and the present, which seems appropriate for a person who spends the novel ambivalently searching for someone who is almost certainly dead."