Nicole Chatelain’s Reading Recommendation:
Erase and Rewind by Meghan Bell
There’s something about reading Meghan Bell’s stories during a pandemic. It might be the seamless blend of realism with speculative fiction, a nod to the (sur)reality we’ve all been steeped in for the past two years. It might be the levity Bell brings to heavy topics such as mental illness, violence, and parental neglect; there’s a playfulness here that works like balm, coating her candid, accessible prose in a spoonful of sugar. But what ultimately defines a book is where you feel it. Bell’s stories sit right in your core, somewhere high in the abdomen, like you’ve swallowed a too-big lump of something delicious—warm, nutritive, and painful. Erase and Rewind taps into the urgency of the mundane as much as it normalizes the abnormal, and whether you’re reading about an assault survivor, a pregnant teenager, or a superhero’s daughter, this is 2020s catharsis at its finest.
Nicole Chatelain lives with her husband and two children in Ottawa, where she teaches in the Professional Writing program at Algonquin College. She is finishing her undergraduate English degree with Athabasca University. Her essay "Without A Net" is featured in the new all-creative nonfiction issue of The Fiddlehead, and her writing has also been published in The Ekphrastic Review. Follow her on Instagram @nikiwritesthings.