The Search for Heinrich Schlögel : Globe & Mail Best 100 Books of 2014, Quill & Quire’s Best Books of 2014, Oprah Editors’ Pick.

At the heart of Martha Baillie’s fragmentary, highly original new novel is an inexplicable event. In 1980, at age 20, Heinrich Schlögel escapes his West German birthplace to hike Baffin Island’s interior. The trip lasts two weeks, but when he returns the year is 2010 and he has not aged a day. His biography, the one we read, comes to us via an amateur archivist (also German, transplanted in Toronto) who has compiled “the Schlögel archive”: letters, photographs, books read, and other bits of ephemera related to the young man. How much of the story is the archivist’s invention? The use of an unreliable narrator has a point here: Baillie is turning the tables on the European, who has taken the place usually held by the “native” as specimen of study. The result is a philosophic, absorbing read on photography, the North, colonialism, ethnography, and the nature of time.”  —Jade Colbert, The Globe & Mail



“Martha Baillie has written a timeless masterpiece. Every page is full of haunting wonderment. Truly, I know of no novel quite like it—it’s a blessing. The Search for Heinrich Schlögel has dreamlike locutions, it tells the most unusual tale, and it brings the margins of the world to us with photographic immediacy. I was completely transported.”  —Howard Norman, author of Next Life Might Be Kinder
Baillie delivers a work of magical realism that captures the experience of postcolonial guilt … and gives voice to a silenced past.   —Starred and boxed Publishers Weekly
The Search for Heinrich Schlögel is utterly distinctive, a fictional biography that drifts so imperceptibly into dream that it’s impossible to tell where the reality of it ends and the fantasy begins. There’s something of Nabokov here, and also something of Rip Van Winkle. Baillie has written an ode to those things that resist time, like a photograph, and those things that relinquish themselves to it, like a painting, resulting in a novel that is itself a little bit of both.   —Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Illumination
Martha Baillie’s extraordinary The Search for Heinrich Schlögel is not quite like any other book I’ve read. It invites us on a hallucinatory journey to the Arctic and through time. It asks us to live with mystery and wonder, which is what a work of art does. If it reminds me of anything, it is the fabulous, shape-shifting novels of the Icelandic writer Sjón.          —Catherine Bush, author of The Rules of Engagement and Accusation
How is it possible to find a person who doesn’t know he’s missing? How can we be   entangled in the world, in history, and live a moral life? Heinrich Schlögel doesn’t give up his secrets easily, but as time collapses and opens, an extraordinary person, and an astonishing reading experience, come into existence. Martha Baillie’s new novel is entirely original, remembered yet created, truthful yet fictional, old, alive and visionary.   —Madeleine Thien, author of Dogs at the Perimeter


July 17, 2014 · News · (No comments) ·

he'llskein of days

May 29, 2014 · News · (No comments) ·

18 June 2014

Souvankham Thammavongsa is the winner of this year’s Trillium Book Award for Poetry, for Light (Pedlar Press, 2013).

Jury Comment:  Souvankham Thammavongsa’s Light is as economical an account of the entire world as one could hope to find. The poet’s powerful zoom lens transforms a light bulb box to a Buddhist temple, a plot of parsley to a cheerleading squad, a colossal squid to supper, the sky to an ashtray, and dung to light. If “profound pun” is an oxymoron to you, then Thammavongsa will show you the error of that thinking. At once serious and hilarious, singular and deeply relatable, this collection is a landmark in contemporary poetry.


TORONTO – Six English books and five French were shortlisted for the 2014 Trillium
Book Award, the Ontario government’s prestigious award for literature. This year, five titles were
also short-listed for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry; three in English and two in French.

English Finalists for the Trillium Book Award/Prix Trillium:

· Craig Davidson, Cataract City (Doubleday Canada)
· ****Barry Dempster, The Outside World (Pedlar Press)**** 
· Lorna Goodison, Supplying Salt and Light (McClelland & Stewart)
· Helen Humphreys, Nocturne (HarperCollins Publishers)
· Hannah Moscovitch, This is War (Playwrights Canada Press)
· Peter Unwin, Life Without Death and Other Stories (Cormorant Books)

Finalists for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry in English language:

· Austin Clarke, Where the Sun Shines Best (Guernica Editions)
· Adam Dickinson, The Polymers (House of Anansi Press)
· ***Souvankham Thammavongsa, Light (Pedlar Press)*** ❥❥❥

“Ontario is fortunate to have a tremendous network of local publishers and so many gifted writers, whose work is in demand around the world. Congratulations to this year’s finalists – their new stories carry on a rich literary tradition and we wish them continued success.” – Kevin Shea, Chair, Ontario Media Development Corporation


May 21, 2014 · News · (No comments) ·

The moody, atmospheric stories are delectable, if richly dark and shadowy (as in 1940s Hollywood: think Double Indemnity or The Postman Always Rings Twice). They’d nestle comfortably on a shelf of literary depictions of the West and hardscrabble rural existence laden with American heavyweights like Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology, Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, and Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian (not to mention works by Guy Vanderhaeghe, early Alice Munro, and Sinclair Ross).   —Brett Josef Grubisic, The Winnipeg Review


Reading in Charlottetown, PEI
Saturday July 26 at 2PM
Confederation Centre Public Library


The Western Home, stories by Catherine Cooper

May 5, 2014 · News · (No comments) ·


Souvankham Thammavongsa lays her words out in a variety of shapes and forms, though her signature style includes lyric compactness and austere line placements complemented by ample white space. The spaces are given as much thought and weight as the words themselves. Her style is a refreshing contrast to the dense, baroque imagery of current poetic styles. Other work can feel hyperbolic and verbose after reading Thammavongsa’s lean verse. The poems in Light are neither superficial nor undemanding, creating instead a space of quiet discomfort.






A heap of treasure perfectly describes Susan Downe’s intriguing tale, Juanita Wildrose: My True Life. Downe delves not only into her mother’s life, but into lives of an earlier generation caught up in the fraught years of the American Civil War. The photos, letters and family documents Downe uses were found safely stored in the “ancestor’s drawer” of Juanita Wildrose’s desk. This material, combined with skeins of history and snippets of poetry, run like a rich vein through Downe’s account of her mother’s unusual life.

Downe’s book is episodic, shifting, with aplomb, between life on a primitive, turn-of-the-century farm in Texas County, Missouri, where the family settled in l906, to a glance-back at the heartbreak and grim tutelage of the war between the states. It is a generational story told in the voice of Juanita, the second of six children of Mallie and George Malcolm Emack, who left Witchita, Kansas for the fresh air of a Missouri farm.



The Outside World, a novel by Barry Dempster


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April 27, 2014 · News · (No comments) ·