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Prairie Writers

This is a selection of our current Prairie Writers titles. To find other titles or authors, or just to browse, please use the search box.

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Be Still the Water

- Trade paperback

by Karen Emilson - $24.95 - Add to Cart

Set in 1906 along the unspoiled shores of Lake Manitoba, Be Still the Water brings us into the fold of the Gudmundsson Family—immigrants determined to begin life anew in the Icelandic farming and fishing community of Siglunes. At the heart of the novel is dutiful Asta, the middle daughter who lives in the shadow of her siblings—fiery Signy, headstrong Leifur and sweet, naive Freyja. When Freyja goes missing, Asta embarks on a quest to bring her sister home. She tells the family’s story some seventy years later, while on her deathbed, finally discovering the truth of what happened on those fateful days that set the course for her life and the lives of everyone she loved. Loosely inspired by area events, this is an emotional, slow-burning story of family love and sacrifice, of secrets revealed and promises broken—told in the spirit of the Icelandic Sagas. Karen Emilson has been writing professionally for nearly thirty years. She is the author of the historical novel, "Be Still the Water," the narrative non-fiction bestsellers "Where Children Run" and "When Memories Remain." She can’t sing, dance, draw or play an instrument but lives in awe of those who do. She loves photography and writing about everyday people.

The Bodice Ripper

- Trade paperback

by Byron Rempel - $19.95 - Add to Cart

Anna Hill is a McGill assistant professor of Medieval History and Gender on the eve of her 40th birthday. She specializes in the birth of romance. But after devoting decades of study to her subject, she craves an exotic romance of her own. When nobody steps up, she secretly crafts a bodice-ripping Harlequin set in Medieval Spain. But love soon takes on new meanings when a visiting Parisian professor wants to prove to her that romance is history.

Bootlegger's Confession, The

- Trade paperback

by Allan Levine - $16.95 - Add to Cart

It's 1922 and business is booming for Saul and Lou Sugarman-- ­thanks to prohibition. But business gets personal when the Sugarmans' brother-in-law ends up dead. Looking for answers, private detective Sam Klein is called in to investigate. What appears to be nothing more than a deal-gone-bad quickly spirals out of control to threaten Sam's own family. How can Sam prevent his loved ones from becoming enmeshed in a bootlegger turf war that's bigger than even he can imagine?

The Break

- Trade paperback

by Katherena Vermette - $22.95 - Add to Cart

Winner of the 2017 Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award, Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction, and the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Awards. When Stella, a young Metis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break -- a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house -- she calls the police to alert them to a possible crime. In a series of shifting narratives, people who are connected, both directly and indirectly, with the victim -- police, family, and friends -- tell their personal stories leading up to that fateful night. Lou, a social worker, grapples with the departure of her live-in boyfriend. Cheryl, an artist, mourns the premature death of her sister Rain. Paulina, a single mother, struggles to trust her new partner. Phoenix, a homeless teenager, is released from a youth detention centre. Officer Scott, a Metis policeman, feels caught between two worlds as he patrols the city. Through their various perspectives a larger, more comprehensive story about lives of the residents in Winnipeg's North End is exposed. A powerful intergenerational family saga, The Break showcases Vermette's abundant writing talent and positions her as an exciting new voice in Canadian literature.

Bridge Retakes

- Trade paperback

by Angela Lopes - $18.00 - Add to Cart

Bridge Retakes, the debut novel by Angela Lopes, is a whirlwind tale of love and family and the distances that people will (or won't) go to secure what they want.A Bahian man and a Brazilian-Canadian woman meet on an online dating site. They come from very different worlds--geographically, economically, religiously--and yet, their connection is undeniable. When these long-distance lovers run up against their own belief systems and those of their families and communities, it's their desire to build a life anew that keeps them moving forward. But all the while, issues of money, class, gender, and corruption threaten to tear them apart.Praise for Bridge Retakes:"This is the story of Phila + Ze, of Canada + Brazil. And like all great love stories it charts the emotions around desire, all its sweats and confusions. And it does this beautifully. What Phila + Ze = is the plot of this book. And as such, what Bridge Retakes adds to these stories and what makes it distinctive is how these sweats and confusions are shaped by more complicated forces, such as national borders and economic inequalities." --Juliana Spahr

Burning in this Midnight Dream

- Trade paperback

by Louise Bernice Haife - $16.95 - Add to Cart

Burning in the Midnight Dream is the latest collection of poems by Louise Bernice Halfe. Many were written in response to the grim tide of emotions, memories, dreams and nightmares that arose in her as the Truth and Reconciliation process unfolded. In heart-wrenching detail, Halfe recalls the damage done to her parents, her family, herself. With fearlessly wrought verse, Halfe describes how the experience of the residential schools continues to haunt those who survive, and how the effects pass like a virus from one generation to the next. She asks us to consider the damage done to children taken from their families, to families mourning their children; damage done to entire communities and to ancient cultures. Halfe's poetic voice soars in this incredibly moving collection as she digs deep to discover the root of her pain. Her images, created from the natural world, reveal the spiritual strength of her culture.

Comma

- Trade paperback

by Jennifer Still - $20.00 - Add to Cart

It was a long silence that brought me to the erasure poem. Not mine, but my brother's, during his many months in a coma. I came across a notebook of his--a pocket-sized, handwritten field guide of prairie grasses. I read it for companionship, signs of consciousness, attention. I read it for the rhythms of his still and distant hand.... I was reading a taxonomy of grief: silique drifted into soliloquy.Comma is a poetry infused with pause and quaver, inspired by Jennifer Still's collaboration with her ailing brother's hand-written field guide to prairie grasses. Trusting the instability of words, she attends to torn paper, shadings, erasures, and intervals, venturing inside the chrysalis, the breathing tube, and the brittle lexicon of botany to achieve a lyrical foliation of grief. From coma to comma, the held breath sprouts, and hums. Praise for CommaComma is a living, breathing field guide to the unconscious--Still's poems flicker and leap from the page. This collection is an immersive, tactile wonder, a compassionate, steadfast companion: a truly remarkable exploration by a truly remarkable artist. --Christine Fellows, singer/songwriter/poet and author of Burning Daylight

Daddy Lenin and Other Stories

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by Guy Vanderhaeghe - $19.95 - Add to Cart

Winner of the 2015 Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction. Bestselling author Guy Vanderhaeghe's new book of fiction is both timely and timeless and showcases his supreme talent as a storyteller and poignant observer of the human condition. Among these nine addictive and resonant stories: A teenage boy breaks out of the strict confines of his family, his bid for independence leads him in over his head. He learns about life in short order and there is no turning back. An actor's penchant for hiding behind a role, on and off stage, is tested to the limits and what he comes to discover finally places him face to face with the truth. With his mother hospitalized for a nervous condition and his father away on long work stints, a boy is sent to another family for his meals. His gradually building relationship with a teenage daughter who has been left handicapped from Polio opens unexpected doors to the world. In the powerful title story, a middle-aged man remeets his former adviser at university, a charismatic and domineering professor dubbed Daddy Lenin. As their tense reunion progresses, secrets from the past painfully revise remembered events and threaten to topple the scaffolding of a marriage. With Daddy Lenin and Other Stories, award-winning author Guy Vanderhaeghe returns once again to the form that launched his stellar literary career. Here is a grand master writing at the height of his powers.

Encountering Riel

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by David Orr - $19.95 - Add to Cart

Willie Lorimer is a young poetry student who forgot to resign his commission in the Canadian militia. When he is called up to join the fight against the Métis rebel leader, Louis Riel, Willie is scared, but bolstered by his own naïveté. The journey to the heart of the rebellion is long and full of anguish. When the militia reach the West, things go tragically wrong, and their once-heroic cause is marred by the cynical realities of politics, and the harsh realities of war.

Fall in One Day

- Trade paperback

by Craig Terlson - $19.99 - Add to Cart

In the summer of 1973, fifteen-year-old Joe Beck lives in a small Canadian city near the U.S. border where he watches dark-suited politicians lie on TV during something called Watergate. So when his best friend Brian goes missing, Joe has a hard time believing that adults ever tell the truth. Joe learns that Brian left town with his father after Brian's mother ended up in the hospital. He listens to the news reports for information, but nothing is being said. Eventually, Joe launches his own investigation, using a tape recorder—just like the American president—to help sift through the clues. Feeling that everything is up to him, Joe embarks on a perilous and enlightening journey to decipher a mental institution diary full of secrets about a drug called LSD, and uncover the truth about Brian's father and save his best friend. Craig Terlson's fiction has appeared in Carve, Hobart, Smokelong Quarterly, and many other literary journals in the United States, United Kingdom, and South Africa. He is the author of the novels Correction Line, Surf City Acid Drop, and the story collection, Ethical Aspects of Animal Husbandry. With Fall in One Day, he brings his quirky, dark sense of humour and an ear for the dialogue he heard growing up on the Canadian prairies. His prose possesses a cinematic quality and an eye for detail stemming from his years as a professional illustrator for clients across North America.

Follow Me Down

- Hardcover

by Sherri Smith - $34.99 - Add to Cart

Follow Me Downis a rare find--a gutsy, visceral, and beautifully crafted psychological thriller that Diane Chamberlain called "an engrossing page turner [that] will keep you guessing right up to the delicious ending" from talented new author Sherri Smith.Mia Haas has built her life far from the North Dakota town where she grew up, but when she receives word that her twin brother is missing, she is forced to return home. Back to the people she left behind, the person she used to be, and the secrets she thought she'd buried.Once hailed as the golden boy of their town, and now a popular high school teacher, Lucas Haas disappears the same day the body of one of his students is pulled from the river. Trying to wrap her head around the rumors of Lucas's affair with the teen, and unable to reconcile the media's portrayal of Lucas as a murderer with her own memories of him, Mia is desperate to find another suspect.All the while, she wonders: If he's innocent, why did he run?As Mia reevaluates their difficult, shared history and launches her own investigation into the grisly murder, she uncovers secrets that could exonerate Lucas--or seal his fate. In a small town where everyone's lives are intertwined, Mia must confront her own demons if she wants to get out alive.

Fossil Light

- Trade paperback

by Erling Friis-bastaad - $23.95 - Add to Cart

“Erling Friis-Baastad’s remarkable poems… become prayer-like in their transcendence of hard conditions.” ~ Charles Lillard, Victoria Times-Colonist In his impressive new collection Fossil Light, Erling Friis-Baastad continues to explore and find language for not only the northern Canadian landscape —both human and other-than-human—but also our moment in cosmic history. He extends his gaze to undertake an attentive traverse of deep space and deep time. These taut, intense poems are the words of a poet determined to relocate our place in the cosmos during an age of immense dislocation. “With an exile’s voice, Erling Friis-Baastad calls forth the mythology lost in each of us. From northern forest, to Andalusian desert, out across conjectured galaxies, these poems tune to their environment, then startle themselves new. From an essential northern poet, the magnesium light of these poems will bear us out.” ~ Michael Eden Reynolds author of Slant Room “Erling Friis-Baastad’s latest collection carries us from the hot core of our own heart to the edge of the solar system and beyond. It is a journey of human faith and fear, of being lured by rumours of ‘angel sightings’ in the far north—the poet’s home for so long—and the ‘languid demon’ of the south. With exact and beautiful language, Friis-Baastad has traced the evolution of the human spirit. Reading Fossil Light is exhilarating and terrifying, like riding a meteorite.” ~ Joanna Lilley author of The Fleece Era and The Birthday Books Friis-Baastad’s previous poetry collections include The Exile House,Wood Spoken: New and Selected Poems and The Ash Lad. A long-time resident of the Yukon Territory, he now lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Fragment

- Trade paperback

by Craig Russell - $19.95 - Add to Cart

As the planet and the oceans warm, in the Antarctic a cool layer of newly minted ice shields the surface ocean from the warmer, deeper waters that are melting the ice shelves. New giant icebergs float off Antarctica -- some the size of the Island of Montreal. On one eventful day in the Antarctic's Scott Base, a group of marine biologists are introduced to an attraction far more impacting than the "calving" off of icebergs from the world's land ice. What they encounter is the most powerful event in nature they have ever experienced whose magnitude seems almost incomprehensible. Soon the world would know what they knew: As though connected by rods, Kate and the two men turn south. South, toward a marvel that is part of the everyday existence here. It is a cliff, a hundred meters high, that thrusts up out of the ocean. They still call it 'The Barrier'. It is the seaward edge of the Ross Ice Shelf. Not a level sheet, the Shelf is an icescape where plates the size of suburban neighborhoods shift with the seasons, shaped by the slow processes of wind and tide. But now Kate can see swift movement where there should only be frozen stillness. All across the southern horizon, the edge of the world lifts. Atlas has shifted his grip on the globe and there is a shockwave in the ice. As the terrible force of Fragment becomes known, it is not only the human world that will have to contend with its treachery but also the animal world, especially that of the sea. And so it is that within the survival instincts of several species lay the remedy and plan that must be forged to save millions from disaster and potential death. But first, as the Fragment morphs from phenomenon to global threat and begins its drift toward South America, the parade of humanity will have its way: the military with their military prescriptions, the media with their desire to exploit the disaster, the scientists with their passive desire to know more and more, and those few dedicated marine scientists who were there at its birth and will eventually be lead to action by the most unlikely of all allies -- a blue whale named Ring.

How to Pick Up a Maid in Statue Square

- Trade paperback

by Rea Tarvydas - $18.95 - Add to Cart

These stories collectively capture various versions of the expat life that share the feeling of being between two worlds, that experience of being neither here nor there and trying to find a way to fill that space. The stories follow a kind of "life cycle" of expatriates in Hong Kong -- a place often called the "most thrilling city on the planet." They share the feeling of being between two worlds, the experience of being neither here nor there and trying to find a way to fill that space. From the hedonistic first days in How To Pick Up A Maid in Statue Square, as Fast Eddy instructs on how best to approach Filipina maids on their rest day; through the muted middle in Rephrasing Kate, as Kate encounters a charismatic bad boy and is forced to admit her infidelities; to the inevitable end in The Dirty Duck, as Philip realizes his inability to commit and resolves to return home to Australia; Hong Kong alters them all with its frenetic mixture of capitalism and exoticism. Characters exist between the worlds they once knew and this place which now holds them in its spell and shapes them to its ends. Their stories explore how they cope with this space where loneliness and alienation intersect, a place where insomniac young bankers forfeit their ambition while chasing deviant sexual encounters, or consume themselves with climbing the corporate ladder. It is a world where passive domestics live and work for the money they can send home, while their keepers assemble poolside to engage in conversations aroused by the expat's desire to connect to others who share their fates. Always, of course, there is The Globe a favourite watering hole where, when night falls, they meet to tell their stories.

Liberty Street

- Trade paperback

by Dianne Warren - $19.99 - Add to Cart

From the Governor General's Award¬-winning author of Cool Water, "a story of compassion, redemption and of coming to terms with one's past told with intelligence, humour and wit" (Winnipeg Free Press).When sharp-edged Frances Moon and her long-time partner encounter a funeral procession that brings traffic to a halt, she finds herself blurting out the barest thread of a story that she never intended to share. The reverberations drive her back to the past and her mother's old rental property, the lone house in a failed subdivision called Liberty Street.There, memories are ghosts: Frances's mother on her way to Nashville to become a country singer; her father determined to run his farm despite his failing eyesight; the town's bad apple, Dooley Sullivan; a string of renters including the December bride, Esme Bigalow, and a man who met a tragic end, Silas Chance.When a domestic mishap and a torrential hailstorm send Frances to the questionable safety of an eccentric neighbour's kitchen, she learns just how unreliable memory is, and that she was not the only one whose life after Elliot, Saskatchewan, was determined by half-truths and bad decisions.With depth, insight and the subtle humour for which she is known, Dianne Warren gives us an engrossing and touching novel about disappointment, anger and the redemptive power of kindness.

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