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Poetry Canadian

Anchoress /tpf

by (author) Esta Spalding

House of Anansi Press Inc
Initial publish date
May 1997
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 1997
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.


Awake before dawn a year after his lover Helen's death, Peter begins to assemble his memories of her. How to conjure the dead? How to put a lover's body together again? Working through the winter, spring, and into the late summer in a basement laboratory at the Vancouver Aquarium, Peter scrawls into his notebook pieces of her story and of their story together. Slowly, he begins to see the secret tunnels between Helen's death and the death of her parents, between her loyalty to her sister, France, and her passion for right action.

A sensual, haunting book-length poem, Anchoress moves gracefully from the painted caves of Vichy France where Helen's mother is born to the banks of the Seine where her parents meet; from a foster home in Illinois to the grey stone university buildings where Helen becomes obsessed with the televised events of the Gulf War.

About the author

Esta Spalding's first book, Carrying Place, was nominated for the Gerald R. Lampert Award and her second, Anchoress, was a finalist for the Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Award for Best Specialty Book of the Year. Her third book, Lost August, won the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and her fourth, The Wife's Account, was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Esta lives in Guelph, Ontario.

Esta Spalding's profile page


  • Short-listed, CBA Libris Award for Best Specialty Book of the Year

Other titles by Esta Spalding