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