Chapbook (Gertrude Press 2014)
Mobiles in the Sky explores motherhood, love, and grief. After experiencing a terrible tragedy, Kendra and Jaylynn spiral away from each other into their own orbits of mourning. Cowen asks questions about what it means to be the biological mother versus the “other” mother, while exploring issues of art and authenticity.
Five Thousand Days of Autumn
Nakashima Wakana (Kana) was forced to serve as a Japanese comfort woman during World War II, but now, in 1951, she has an American husband and a house in the kind of small, Southern American town where it is almost impossible to keep a secret. For Kana, the question is if the shadows of her youth and the baby she was forced to leave behind will destroy the new life she has created. Spanning the time during WWII when Japan forced women of multiple nationalities to serve as sexual slaves through the emerging shadow of the Cold War, Five Thousand Days of Autumn (119,000 words) blends Japanese folklore and myth with Kana’s struggle to acclimate to a new culture as ghosts of the past leak into her new world, evoking Chang-Rae Lee’s A Gesture Life, Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha, and Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony.
Set in 1950s suburbia, Marcella’s Wake is about best friends and lovers, Marcella and Kathy Anne, after they decide to take husbands to hide the fact that they are gay. The novel is narrated in the first-person by Marcella, Kathy Anne, Robbie—Marcella’s husband, and Isla—Marcella’s daughter, in rotating chapters over the course of 50 years. The novel details the pervasive effects of homophobia and conformity, evoking Cunningham’s The Hours and Yates’ Revolutionary Road. A revised manuscript will be completed by the end of 2019.