Finalist 2015 ReLit Award
Penelope, the twenty–year old narrator, is a sometime guitarist and songwriter with a good colour sense and a social conscience. She has kicked a drug habit and is now mainly drinking and jamming in after-hours clubs. Caught between jobs and birth control methods, she finds herself pregnant after a drugged threesome, involving sexy but potentially violent Stan, who becomes a frightening stalker. At the same time, she is increasingly attracted to Theo, a slightly older bass player who shares Penelope’s poetic take on the world, but who, unlike her, sticks with people and jobs. Theo fins Penelope work with him silk screening T-shirts and their relationship begins to develop into something more than friendship, a fact not lost on Theo’s wife.
Motion Sickness, a flash novel consisting of 55 chapters of exactly 500 words, each accompanied by a scratchboard illustration, follows one young woman’s humorous and poignant misadventures in the worlds of employment, friendship, dating, birth control and abortion. Smart, engaging and well-written, the novel deals with the life of a young single person finding her way in the world of work and love.
“A picaresque miniature, Motion Sickness describes a young urban woman’s bewildering adventures on the verge of the real as she learns to trust friendship, and finally, love. This little book is a winner. Each of the facing pages forms a delightful and inextricable unit: a starkly-incised illustration and a 500-word chapter, with titles that read like a poem. Ursula Pflug’s voice is unique, funny and tough, and the dialogue is so exact it can be heard. SK Dyment’s dark and whimsical illustrations play with and enhance the tersely visual prose.”
—Heather Spears, Author, artist, winner of Governor-General’s Award for Poetry