Product Details

Caitlin Press
Publish Date
5.54 X 0.55 X 8.06 inches | 0.68 pounds
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About the Author

Chelsea Rooney is a graduate of the University of British Columbia's MFA program in creative writing. She is a host of The Storytelling Show on Vancouver Co-op Radio, and has been a regular contributor to Project Space's artist-publishing web series ( since spring 2013. Her nonfiction has been published and performed in various publications and productions across Canada. PEDAL is her first novel.


"Pedal is the sort of valuable book that ignites debate, but doesn't conclude it. Beyond anything, the novel wisely asserts that sexual abuse and trauma are not problems as simplistic and easily solved as we want them to be. Until we are able to have the hard conversations about their complexity we will be no closer to preventing their pervasiveness." -- Stacey May Fowles, Globe and Mail

"Chelsea Rooney has written a novel that is simultaneously lacerating and deeply empathetic. It confronts difficult material in a frank and unflinching manner, yet remains grounded in an abiding authorial intelligence. Pedal marks the debut of a hugely promising writer." -- Steven W. Beattie, Quill & Quire

"These aren't comfortable or fun questions, but Pedal is undeniably fun to read regardless--and not just because Rooney is a playful and evocative prose-smith." -- Will Johnson, Literary Goon

"Julia, the protagonist of this intense first novel, is a psychology grad student who risks everything to pursue scientific research in truly forbidden territory: sexual attraction between adults and children. She persists in her quest in spite of skeptical friends, fragile relatives, a squeamish thesis advisor, an enigmatic bike-tour companion, severe social taboos, and her own painful memories of a birth father she calls Dirtbag-not to prove any point but to find out what lies beyond the conventional wisdom. This is an unsettling novel-smart, fierce, confident, funny, and full of surprises-with an unforgettable young woman at the heart of the storm." -- Mary Schendlinger, Senior Editor, Geist

"A taut, unsettling, and provoking debut novel [...] [Chelsea Rooney] ought to be commended for perceptively addressing such a difficult and inflammatory (and decidedly uncommercial) topic with a subtlety that's buoyed by ample empathy." -- Brett Josef Grubisic, Vancouver Sun

"One of the most daring Canadian fiction debuts in years." -- Shawn Syms, Winnipeg Review

"Pedal carries the reader through moments that, if they were not buoyed on either end by humour and lively prose, would sink to the depths of discomfort. Rooney handles her topic with sympathy and openness ...With public dialogue on sexual abuse expanding, this novel comes at a key moment." -- The Coastal Spectator

"Pedal is a brave and captivating book, written with an unflinching eye and a deep understanding of the torment that is the human condition. Chelsea Rooney is a major talent." -- Steven Galloway, author of The Confabulist and The Cellist of Sarajevo