June 16th, 2015 by admin

113 Bond Street St. John’s NL A1C 1T6   feralgrl@interlog.com

Pedlar Press publishes innovative, contemporary Canadian fiction & poetry, the occasional literary nonfiction title, works that preserve and extend the literary tradition that values experimentation in style & form. Writers include Sara Tilley, Maureen Hynes, Soraya Peerbaye, Souvankham Thammavongsa, Martha Baillie, Kate Cayley, Emily McGiffin, Jan Zwicky, Anne Golden, Anne Fleming, Ronna Bloom, Aga Maksimowska, Maureen Scott Harris. . .

TO PURCHASE PEDLAR TITLES: Pedlar Press titles may be ordered from www.alllitup.ca (the all-Canadian online bookstore), from www.amazon.ca, or from your local independent bookseller.

Stan Dragland’s GERALD SQUIRES, Martha Baillie’s novel THE SEARCH FOR HEINRICH SCHLOGEL, and the full 2016 list may be purchased by scrolling down to posts below. To purchase other titles directly from Pedlar, contact publisher Beth Follett at:  feralgrl@interlog.com

Click on the various Pages to see Pedlar’s full front and back lists.

SUBMISSIONS: May 2017 update – Pedlar is not accepting submissions at this time.

The publisher wishes to acknowledge financial support received from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Newfoundland and Labrador Publishers Assistance Program.

“Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular hours.”  ―Jane Kenyon


The Search for Heinrich Schlogel, a novel by Martha Baillie

April 28th, 2017 by admin




In Martha Baillie’s novel The Search for Heinrich Schlögel, a young man from a provincial town in Germany flies to Canada in 1980 to hike in the Arctic. Heinrich’s solitary trek lasts twelve days, during which he experiences a series of visitations from the past: Inuit children in residential schools, the explorer Samuel Hearne, his own parents. When he returns from his hike and comes back into town, he finds it is 2010, and he is a man without any records, believed dead, having somehow slipped into a crevice in time. He is the same young man he was when he set out, but the world has altered beyond recognition. It is perhaps too obvious to say The Search for Heinrich Schlögel is a novel about time, landscape, and memory; it is also a novel that encounters history in a spirit of moral seriousness, an encounter in which what one thinks of as a self may not escape unaltered, or may not escape at all.

I read this book roughly a year ago and have been thinking about it ever since. It plays with all the ways a story can work itself out. Baillie constantly reminds the reader they are looking through the eyes of someone else: an unnamed and ungendered narrator, an expat German who has become obsessed with Heinrich’s disappearance and whose own story emerges in fragments through footnotes; Heinrich himself; his unstable sister; an Inuit woman, a residential school survivor who takes Heinrich in after his sudden reappearance and tells him, again in fragments, her own story and the story of the land over which he’s walked. Characters tell and retell folktales. Each shifting voice contains a sense of something missing, something incomplete or unsayable.

It has become something of a cliché to say that writing gestures to what can’t be put into words, but in Baillie’s case the gesture feels deeply ethical, as though fiction might be uniquely positioned in respect to history: a form capable of allowing for the half-truth and the incomplete record, not as an erasure but as an acknowledgment of absence, of loss. Baillie approaches history with humility, calling attention to blanks rather than filling them in. Heinrich’s disappearance and the disruption of his experience of time, while specific to his character and the story, stand in for the disruptions and disappearances of history. In a more conventional and polemical book, a writer might present historical wrongs as problems to be solved; here Baillie points to them, simply and inescapably, as truths for us to meditate upon. The nationality of the protagonist is not incidental, and Baillie is getting at something deeper than the German obsession with Canada’s landscape. Like Germany, Canada has its own atrocities to consider. Perhaps fiction, as a form that can avoid linearity and convey through omission, is suited to such a task.

Heinrich, like all travellers, constructs an idea of the Arctic before he encounters it. His romantic notions about Canada create “a landscape of words” in advance of his arrival. What happens to him, his slipping out of time, becomes, gently and almost teasingly, a reversal of colonialism itself: the European, arriving well armed with notions of where he is, finds that time has altered and he has no ground on which to stand.

The novel, too, shifts (in perspective, in place, in narrative form) just as the reader thinks they’ve got hold of it. “Novels in fragments” run the risk of literary affectation, but Baillie’s form serves a serious purpose, constantly throwing the reader off balance, leaving them unsure of their surroundings or proper place. She opens the book with the dictionary definition of an erratic: “A piece of rock that differs in composition, shape, etc., from the rock surrounding it, having been transported from its place of origin, esp. by glacial action.” Heinrich is an erratic, but, reading this book, so are the rest of us: bewildered, unstable, grieved. Time does not work as we thought, or at least hoped, it would.

The Search for Heinrich Schlögel itself exists in different times and different places. While Baillie was writing it, she copied out portions of the text on hundreds of postcards and sent them out to a long list of people, asking them to record themselves reading these scraps of text before sending them back to her. These postcards and recordings are archived online; they also formed part of an exhibit at the Koffler Gallery in Toronto last year. I spent some time poring over the wall of postcards, amazed at the variety of images and almost forgetting I was looking at an art exhibit, not a series of genuine found objects or the contents of an archive. I often feel uncomfortable in gallery spaces: they are so pristine and purposeful, and I’m not sure what is expected, as if I’m at a party without a host. The same was true here, except the more I looked at the postcards, the more I felt I was being invited to contemplate how broken, how splintered, and how impossible history and memory really are and not to expect that absolute meaning or resolution would result from that contemplation. I was simply being asked to dwell in that enormity and instability for a while before I went out into the ordinary day and back into my ordinary, pseudo-linear life, full of tasks and obligations. At the far end of the gallery was a door. Going through it, I found myself in a tiny, bare room with one armchair. Music was playing, a composition by Nic Gotham, inspired by the novel. I sat in the chair in the dim room for about ten minutes, letting my mind wander. When I got up, I felt disoriented, as though I had experienced more than ten minutes worth of living.

Taken together (book, online archive, gallery exhibit),The Search for Heinrich Schlögel achieves a kind of ethics of memory, in which what is remembered is never certain and so not owned by the person attempting to remember. It maintains a respectful distance, in which what is lost can be imagined only through absence, a rift in what we think of as time. Making a viewer more aware of absence is, in a way, a fairly modest ambition, but also an immense one. Either way, it might be something art can reach for, and perhaps one of the justifications for art, if art should happen to need a justification

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Kate Cayley has written a short story collection, How You Were Born (Pedlar 2014), and a collection of poetry, When This World Comes to an End. Her second book of poems, Other Houses, is forthcoming from Brick Books.

GERALD SQUIRES, May 2017

March 27th, 2017 by admin

This tree [Light on the Barrens, 2005], having pulled almost out of its anchorage, is no longer green, but to say just that it’s dying is to miss how gorgeous it is, how its golden branches reach out into a sky of even brighter gold. The scene seems to be set at dusk, with the light of the setting sun transfiguring everything, a little of it even reaching into the darker lower area. The intricate play of light and dark makes this as Squires a Squires as ever there was.  –Stan Dragland, Gerald Squires (Pedlar Press, May 2017)

If you live in Newfoundland, you may buy the book here:

 

All other inquiries should be directed to your local independent bookseller, or to Beth Follett at feralgrl@interlog.com

Gerald Squires: It’s fantastic.

February 13th, 2017 by admin

Gerald Squires by Stan Dragland (May 2017), with an appreciation by Michael Crummey, will be launched in St. John’s NL on Thursday 25 May 2017 at Emma Butler Gallery. 7PM. Everyone welcome.

 

 

Gerald Squires, Brigus Series: Cliffs of Brigus

2016 titles

November 29th, 2016 by admin

978189714176205 cover.indd

 

9781897141793978189714180997818971417799781897141786

Titles

 



 




Soraya Peerbaye, TELL: Poems For A Girlhood, Winner 2016 Trillium Book Award for Poetry, Finalist 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize

May 25th, 2016 by admin
Soraya Peerbaye, Toronto, Tell: poems for a girlhood, Pedlar Press

Reena Virk was a girl of South Asian descent who was murdered on November 14th, 1997, in Saanich, British Columbia. At least eight young people participated in the initial assault, while more looked on. Seven of her assailants were girls; five were white. Virk rose from that beating and walked north across a bridge toward home. Her drowned body was found in the Gorge Waterway. In Tell: poems for a girlhood, without a trace of sentimentality and with heart-wrenching courage, Soraya Peerbaye gathers evidence into an entire poetic vision of contemporary adolescent fury and angst.

Soraya Peerbaye’s first collection of poetry, Poems for the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names, was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Award. Her poems have appeared in Red Silk: An Anthology of South Asian Women Poets, as well as the literary journals Other Voices, Prairie Fire and The New Quarterly; she has also contributed to the chapbook anthology Translating Horses. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. Peerbaye lives in Toronto with her husband and daughter.