Bill Stenson

Bill Stenson is a fiction writer born in Nelson, BC. He has had stories
published in many of Canada’s literary magazines, and is the author of
Translating Women (2004) and Svoboda (2007). Stenson co-founded The Claremont Review, an international magazine that publishes young adult writers. He lives in
Victoria with his wife,

Books


 

NOVEL

384 pages/trade paper

Available in the US
World Rights Available


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REVIEWS

ISBN: 978-1-77187-114-3
List Price: $19.95

Bill Stenson

Hanne and Her Brother is a dynamic novel that plays with the distinctions between the light and dark sides of life, and though the subject matter is difficult at times, the tale never strays too far from the light. Stenson writes with whimsy, weaving rich, long sentences to capture the odyssey of Hanne Lemmons. Between her protective father, lack of siblings or friends, and isolated homeschooling, Hanne yearns for a companion to bring drama and excitement to her life. At sixteen, however, she is thrust into a journey of both hardships and personal discovery that takes her across Canada from the Cowichan Valley to Eastend, Saskatchewan.

The novel places Stenson firmly in the vibrant tradition of contemporary writers fascinated by the complexities of small town life. Though this tradition begins with George McKay Brown, Joyce Carey and Dylan Thomas in England, it is extended by our own western Canadian writers Ethel Wilson, Jack Hodgins, and Sandra Birdsell and painters like William Kureluk and E.J. Hughes. These artists create big, boisterous canvases that begin in realism but morph into something more mysterious and funny, a bold, ragged beauty full of character and country.

Stenson is enchanted by the landscapes of British Columbia and the prairies, and in the story, these landscapes are as magical as the characters who struggle to live in them. Hanne Lemmon’s story is a brawling tale of love and loss and strength, set in small towns and villages with a cast of characters as large with life and humour as the landscapes around them. There is a vast love beneath this novel that is contagious and irresistible and there is also a great subtlety to this tale that shudders in a renaissance clockwork beauty. Readers who like W.O. Mitchell, John Irving, Kent Haruf, or Per Petterson, will love Stenson’s new novel.

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NOVEL

292 pages/trade paper

Available in the US
World Rights Available


Buy an eBook version of this book at Kobo, Amazon Kindle Storeor your favourite eBook store

REVIEWS

ISBN: 978-1-897235-30-0
List Price: $18.95

Bill Stenson

“Toil and Peaceful Life” is the axiom that lies at the heart of Doukhobor spiritual, personal, and community values. These values have always been, and continue to be, integral to the people who belong to this historically rich and vibrant community. However, as the history of the Doukhobor people demonstrates, putting this into practice was more difficult than envisioned and, paradoxically, has generated a great deal of conflict within the various spheres of the community itself — most certainly it has created conflicts with those from outside their self-contained community. It is at this juncture of conflict in the decades of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s that the name Doukhobor was to etch itself into the Canadian consciousness. Stenson sets his novel’s action against the backdrop of the Kootenay Region in and around Nelson, BC.

To say Svoboda is a “Doukhobor” novel is misleading, for it is much more than that. While Doukhobor culture plays a central role in creating conflict, from the first few pages right to the end, it is also a novel of coming of age, a novel of accepting fate, and a great entertaining story. The story of Vasili, who walks in the shadow of the past and in the light of the future, marks this novel as a distinctive cultural read in a territory where few writers have gone before.

  Unit Lessons Plan for Svoboda

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short fiction

252 pages/trade paper

Available in the US
World Rights Available

ISBN: 978-1-894345-77-4
List Price: $18.95

Bill Stenson

When you meet Bill Stenson’s sharply rendered characters, you will see those people whom you know and maybe even catch a glimpse of yourself in the process. What you won’t expect are the highly unpredictable situations that he creates for them, and the diagonal humour Stenson employs to herald his approach to fiction. Life does look different from up in a tree, and the man who lives in the root cellar in his long johns has something to tell you. Maybe you will discover what it is like to be an out-of-control pacifist or determine the psychological value of a good pair of shoes. In Translating Women, Stenson performs on the high wire between short story and tale, manipulating narratives while deftly abstracting them.

“Bill Stenson’s stories fly easily as kites in a blue sky in the best wind. However high they soar — often high indeed — they are as down-to-earth as honey and jam. A fine and fascinating collection.”
— Leon Rooke

“Like Twain and Kinsella, Bill Stenson’s work has a glint in its eye. Make room on your shelf for his stories, and make his characters feel welcome, for they are people you know.”
— Bill Gaston

“The people in Bill Stenson’s stories may dance the cha-cha and work the green chain, but what they do best is break your heart. Stenson paints men and women as they are: honest and foolish and brimful of hope, the kind of people who know that “when there’s no good answer to a question, the wisest thing to do is say nothing at all.” I know these people. I’ve met them. I like them.”
— Terence Young

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All Currency is CAD.