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Into the Western Canon (by Gillian Wigmore)

Created by 49thShelf
tagged: gillian wigmore, western canada
I started to cry, sitting in a third year English class, listening to Smaro Kambourelli introduce the central BC setting of Sheila Watson’s The Double Hook. I tried to hide it, but I hadn’t known I was missing my own landscapes in Canadian literature so badly. It was that day, that class, and that incredible academic who introduced me to the canon I wanted to write toward, but it was further reading into these books that convinced me that the best books are ones that require work, that engage the imagination and don’t fill in all the blanks. These are the books that make me want to write into and from the west. *** Gillian Wigmore grew up in Vanderhoof, BC, and graduated from the University of Victoria in 1999. She has been published in Geist, CV2, filling station, and the Inner Harbour Review, among others. Wigmore won the 2008 ReLit Award for her work Soft Geography and was also shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay BC Book Prize. She lives in north central BC with her husband and two children.

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Glory

by Gillian Wigmore
edition: eBook
also available: Paperback Audiobook
tagged: literary, contemporary women, small town & rural

A northern gothic tale about resilience and belonging.

In a boom town dominated by a man-eating lake, Renee and Danny Chance start a new life in his grandfather’s cabin. Renee struggles to keep her head above water until she is drawn into the orbit of two beautifully notorious bar-singer cousins, and all three women are called to test the bonds of …

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Grayling

by Gillian Wigmore
edition: Paperback
tagged: literary, psychological

" . . . a spirited journey story I found as irresistible as the powerful river that carries us through the beautiful and treacherous northern landscape."– Jack Hodgins author of, The Master of Happy Endings, Broken Ground, A Passion For Narrative.

 

After surviving a health crisis, Jay heads to the remote and challenging Dease River in Northwestern …

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Lightning

A Novel

by Fred Stenson
edition: Paperback
also available: Hardcover
tagged: historical

The award-winning Western epic by "one of Canada's greatest living writers" (David Adams Richards) Lightning takes up where Fred Stenson's Giller-nominated and much-honoured novel, The Trade, left off.

 

It is 1881, and the fur trade has been forced to make room for another economy. Seven thousand cattle are crossing the border from Montana into new …

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The Butcher of Penetang

by Betsy Trumpener
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged: short stories (single author)

Betsy Trumpener's raw fiction hits quickly, cuts deeply and lingers on in the imagination. Her urgent, unique voice pushes fiction north of what's real. The Butcher of Penetang carves up rare slices of savoury stories that are both tough and delicious. A child missing in a dangerous part of town; a draft dodger with bloody hands; a robber armed wit …

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Tay John

by Howard O'Hagan, afterword by Michael Ondaatje
edition: Paperback
also available: Paperback
tagged: classics, fairy tales, folk tales, legends & mythology, nature & the environment

The awesome terrain of the Rocky Mountains is the setting for this extraordinary novel about a heroic man who boldly defies destiny. Tay John, a messianic halfbreed, is fated to lead his people to their Promised Land. In a rebellious act of will, he turns to the mountains to seek his own truths.

This richly populated novel vividly depicts the exotic …

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The Studhorse Man

by Robert Kroetsch, introduction by Aritha van Herk
edition: Paperback
tagged: magical realism

Hazard Lepage, the last of the studhorse men, sets out to breed his rare blue stallion, Poseidon. A lusty trickster and a wayward knight, Hazard's outrageous adventures are narrated by Demeter Proudfoot, his secret rival, who writes this story while sitting naked in an empty bathtub. In his quest to save his stallion's bloodline from extinction, Ha …

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The Sudden Weight of Snow

by Laisha Rosnau
edition: Paperback
tagged: literary

This virtuoso first novel weaves stories and decades into a tightly knit, haunting narrative, as it sets into relief two generations marked by the 1960s – those who lived through them, and those who came after. Seventeen-year-old Sylvia (Harper) Kostak is caught between her mother’s regrets and the strictures of small-town life in the interior …

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Monkey Beach

by Eden Robinson
edition: Paperback
tagged: literary, coming of age, native american & aboriginal

Monkey Beach creates a vivid contemporary landscape that draws the reader deep into a traditional world, a hidden universe of premonition, pain and power.” --Thomas King

Tragedy strikes a Native community when the Hill family’s handsome seventeen-year-old son, Jimmy, mysteriously vanishes at sea. Left behind to cope during the search-and-resc …