Lloyd Ratzlaff
   
 

Bindy’s Moon is the third book in Lloyd Ratzlaff’s series of literary essays. The Crow Who Tampered with Time (Thistledown Press) was published in 2002 and Backwater Mystic Blues (Thistledown Press) in 2006. Ratzlaff is also the editor of an anthology of seniors’ writings published by READ Saskatoon and a monthly columnist for Prairie Messenger Catholic Journal. He has served on the boards of several writing organizations and has taught writing classes for the University of Saskatchewan Certificate of Art & Design (USCAD) and the Western Development Museum. Both his creative non-fiction and professional pieces have been widely published throughout Canada and the United States. Ratzlaff lives in Saskatoon.

 

  

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ESSAYS

144 pages / paper

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ISBN: 978-1-77187-054-2
List Price: $18.95

Lloyd Ratzlaff

In a series of reflections focused on his hard-working Mennonite family and touching on childhood exploits from shoplifting and go-kart racing to the fear of dying (which spontaneously arises during the rehearsal for a school Christmas concert), Lloyd Ratzlaff takes readers on a journey from youth to philosophical maturity. Combining elegy and joyful nostalgia in these poetic essays, Ratzlaff recounts his youthful struggles before going on to analyze his first marriage and his time in seminary and as a minister, and examining life as the parent of adult children and closest confidante of a terminally ill friend.

Never straying far from his spiritual probing, Ratzlaff’s essays are informed by nature and the changing seasons which influence his life in seemingly magical ways. Small enlightenments arise from interactions with the natural world, ranging from a spring equinox on the seventh anniversary of his father’s death to the author’s waking to the songs of a robin who comes each spring to live on the riverbank across St. Henry Avenue. Even a small gopher scurrying off and standing like a signpost between graves signals an exploration of mortality.

Humour and honesty define this spiritual journey, as the boy who grew up speaking an ethnically Mennonite language discovers that the rigidity and unease of this tongue will become, in part, the catalyst for his own writing and am impetus to spiritual movement. Bindy’s Moon invites readers to explore the challenges posed by scepticism and the simultaneous desire to believe, weighing the gravity of doctrinairism against the spirit’s boundless energy. Ratzlaff offers a unique example of what many others have experienced, combining humour and quiet reflection in a poignant prairie coming-of-age autobiography.

"These essays come from a place of deep compassion in a voice infused with poetic grace." — Maureen Weber, Prairie Messenger Catholic Journal

  • Shortlisted for the 2016 Saskatchewan Book Award for the City of Saskatoon

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essays

144 pages/trade paper

Available in the US
World Rights Available

REVIEWS

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ISBN: 978-1-897235-08-9
List Price: $15.95

Lloyd Ratzlaff


Backwater Mystic Blues is a suite of intimate essays that summon the secret hiding spots, makeshift rafts and uncomplicated childhood joys that lay the foundations for adult philosophy. Lloyd Ratzlaff is in tune with the vivid simplicities of the sensuous world and the honour of unassuming people. These essays assemble the disguises shaped by religion, family, and memory as much as they recreate the delight, discovery and illumination that his past has offered. And whether you sit back and savour the ribald yarns of Sandra Dee or pick up a bit of Christian dating advice circa 1950’s, remember, the tombstones are talking, and the child’s cookie box found in the river may contain miracle or misery — but you won’t know until you open it.

Backwater Mystic Blues is an extended aide memoire of . . . everyday objects and gestures, retrieved from memory and made to live again in a phosphorescent prose that ‘restores the world to word’ as he writes and whistles in the dark.”
— Myrna Kostash

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essays

136 pages/trade paper

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ISBN: 978-1-894345-43-9
List Price: $12.95

Lloyd Ratzlaff

This collection finds radiance and coherence in a world (both natural and human) which formal religious dogma has forgotten. A visionary humility, and an original, engaging voice make these essays and recollections both accessible and wonder-filled.

Lloyd Ratzlaff brings the prairie landscape to life through a capacious imagination charged with wonder and the gentle irony of an awareness tempered by time and love.

A remarkable new talent in the burgeoning field of literary non-fiction, Ratzlaff connects with the challenges posed by scepticism and belief, countering both the cynicism and doctrinairism of contemporary life with a renewed praise of the profound depths of the spirit and the natural world.

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