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When sculptor and author Barb Davis is given an NEA grant to pair original feminist sculptures with searing first-person essays on transitions in women's lives, she organizes a two-week writing retreat with 12 of the best, brightest, and most notorious lesbian authors in the business. But in between regularly scheduled happy hours and writing sessions, the women enter a tournament bass-fishing competition, receive life coaching from a wise-cracking fish named Phoebe, and uncover a subterranean world of secrets and desires that is as varied and elusive as the fish that swim in the waters of Lake Champlain.
Set on the beautiful shores of Vermont's Lake Champlain, Backcast is richly populated with an expansive cast of endearing and outrageous characters who battle writer's block, quirky locals, personal demons, unexpected attractions, and even each other during their two-week residency. For Barb and each of her 12 writers, the stakes in this fast-moving story are high, but its emotional and romantic payoffs are slow and sweet. Filled with equal parts laugh-out-loud humor and breathtaking pathos, Backcast serves up a sometimes irreverent, sometimes sobering look at the hidden lives of women, and how they laugh, love, lose, and blunder through their own search for meaning.