Fisher Lavell is a working-class writer. Born to generations of rural poor, she was blessed with a trove of untamed stories and the stubborn will to tell them.
She was raised on the outskirts of Swan River, Manitoba, in a one-room shack. They were poor. Yet, they had each other, her mother’s bedtime books, her father’s Country guitar, and a wealth of stories told and retold by mom and dad and aunts and uncles and neighbours in their working-class, storytelling culture.
Neither of Fisher’s parents ever finished grade five. But bright in school, she eventually landed an education and professional training far beyond her family’s wildest imaginings.
Still, her great love is fiction. And her stories are always true to working-class characters, their lives, and their voices.
Her first published story, My Father Remembers His Mother, was typed at a rickety dining table in under two hours and paid her $185. That was in 1992 and she thought, “Wow, this fiction-writing thing is really lucrative.”
She was wrong.
Nevertheless, she persists.
With two large dogs, Fisher Lavell lives again in the house her father built with his own hands. She can often be seen at a distance, a row of blue hills on the horizon, walking the gravel roads and endless green fields of the Swan River Valley.