Please Proceed to the Nearest Exit
McClelland & Stewart, Penguin Random House Canada, 2017
"We’re all just one bad decision away from disaster." At fourteen, Robin Fisher is doing her best to ignore her insurance salesman father’s credo. But life in 1970s Golden, California, doesn’t prove so golden after he deserts the family. As Robin struggles to keep an eye on her fixation with Bic lighters and her newly single mother’s own growing pains, she's drawn into the orbit of a fascinating outsider, Carol “Jesus Freak” Closter. When Carol finally crosses a dangerous line, it’s Robin who must make a heartbreaking decision of her own.
"The best throughout is Robin Fisher, fourteen years old when her narration begins in 1971. Gifted by her author with a sharp wit, she’s an absorbing tour guide... Bright, pensive and questioning...she’s a snide delight." — The Toronto Star
"A treat... A delightful, engaging and... inventive work of fiction."
— Winnipeg Free Press
iPad Books "Summer's Most Anticipated" list
Loan Star book pick
What My Father Gave Me: Daughters Speak
ANNICK PRESS, 2010, EDITED BY MELANIE LITTLE
“Editor Melanie Little brings together seven outstanding women—including Susan Olding, Jessica Raya and Saleema Nawaz—to write brilliant, powerful accounts of father-daughter relationships during their teen years. Gutsy and honest.” – GoodReads.com
“Little has done a beautiful job assembling a collection that is uniformly heart-wrenching and well-written. That said, there are a few pieces that particularly sing, such as Raya’s “How to Make Ice and Other Things My Stepfather Taught Me,” about finding a father-figure she can rely on.” – Quill & Quire
“Standouts include [Jessica Raya's] “How to Make Ice and Other Things My Stepfather Taught Me,” in which a seemingly immature, quirky guy who doesn’t fit the stepfather mold becomes the father figure the writer and her family need.” – School Library Journal
Best Books for Kids & Teens 2011, Canadian Children’s Book Centre
Buenos Aires Broken Hearts Club
GRAND CENTRAL PUBLISHING, 2007
Cassie Moore has always played it safe, living life according to a meticulously organized Master Plan. But when she loses her job and finds her fiancé in bed with his ex on the same day, it's clear The Plan has failed her. Nothing a martini bender and a ticket to South American can't fix...
"There's nothing better than reading a book you can't wait to tell your friends about. Funny, fresh, enchanting and real, this is one fabulous debut." — Lani Diane Rich, author of The Fortune Quilt
"Cassie’s South American retreat leads her to reach out to the world in unforeseen ways, lending this hilarious first novel a warmth and subtle depth characteristic of its author." — Kirkus Reviews
Kirkus Best Books of 2007
RedBook Top 10 Summer Read
I was born in Montreal to American parents and raised in Vancouver, where I earned an MA in literature and a Canada Council Artist grant. After several years of blissful wandering (Buenos Aires, New York, London...) I've made a home in San Francisco with my brilliant husband, Hugo Eccles of Untitled Motorcycles, and found another at the Castro Writers' Coop.
My first novel, Buenos Aires Broken Hearts Club, was published in four languages under a pseudonym. My second novel, Please Proceed to the Nearest Exit, was released in June 2017 by McClelland & Stewart, Penguin Random House Canada. I'm currently at work on my third. My stories have appeared in magazines and literary journals, and the 2010 essay collection What My Father Gave Me: Daughters Speak.