Donna McMahon lives in the town which was declared “The Most Liveable Community in the World” in a UN competition in 2009—Gibson’s Landing.
That may be partly why she’s not into dystopias, but mostly it’s that she doesn’t believe in telling stories of hopelessness and defeat. Human beings have tremendous resilience and creativity, and we owe it to ourselves to imagine futures we would want to live in.
McMahon has always been fascinated with the history and ecology of the Pacific Northwest, which is where most of her stories are set. Four years in a crumbling high rise in the seethingly diverse West End of Vancouver inspired much of the novel Dance of Knives, while summers as a child on Savary Island were the genesis of its sequel, Second Childhood. And trips up the north coast on a small freighter and a sailboat were the genesis of the story “Feeding the Eagles“.
She’s also fascinated by the ever-changing intersection between technology and human behaviour. Groundbreaking new biomedical technologies, will create both tremendous opportunities and terrifying possibilities.
As a writer, her priority is to tell an engrossing story populated with memorable characters, in a vivid setting that gives you something to think about later. Her books are hard to put down.
Her novels are:
Her short fiction can be found in: