Chelsea Bieker

India Downes-Le Guin

Chelsea Bieker is the author of the novel GODSHOT which was a finalist for both the Oregon and California Book Award, longlisted for The Center For Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and named a Barnes and Noble Pick of the Month. Her story collection, HEARTBROKE, will be published in April 2022. Her writing has appeared in The Paris Review, Granta, The Cut, McSweeney’s, Lit Hub, Electric Literature, and others. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers’ Award and a MacDowell Colony fellowship. Originally from California’s Central Valley, she lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two children where she is at work on her third book, a novel about motherhood and madness.

Project Description: During my residency, I will continue work on my novel in progress, MADWOMAN, which follows Clove, the mother of two young children, as her world is rocked by post-weaning anxiety after she stops breastfeeding her toddler son. When her mother writes her a letter from prison with a request—to retell their story of Clove’s violent childhood in Hawaii, and free her at last for her father’s murder, Clove is forced to decide if she will reveal a truth that will upend the safe life she has worked so hard to create. Darkly funny and propulsive, Madwoman interrogates the failings of women’s healthcare in the U.S., motherhood and identity, and the long lasting effects of domestic violence. Taking us from Clove’s charged and unpredictable childhood in Waikiki to the hip wellness-obsessed culture of Portland, Oregon, Clove does whatever she can to survive.

Residency: 2022 Parents