Literary Non-Fiction


 

274 pages / paper

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ISBN: 978-1-927068-48-9
List Price: $18.95

Joanne Weber

The Deaf House is Joanne Weber’s life story. It highlights the work and passions of a woman who grew up deaf and became an advocate for the deaf. It is a story of pain, loss and defeat balanced with joy, gain, and victory. It is the true story of a deaf woman as much as it is the fable of a heroic quest where a woman overcomes the most profound obstacles to find herself.

The author shows how deafness can be a brutal oppression of the mind as well as one of sound. Her torment of not knowing exactly where she should belong, or when to halt her destructive pride, is revealed with blunt honesty. After much internal turmoil, Joanne realized that her inherent identity was that of a Deaf individual and The Deaf House details her struggles that resulted from fiercely attempting to protect and uphold that identity.

Weber combines the narrative tools of a novelist with a keen documentarian perspective to effectively provide the reader with rare insight and profound truths about the lives of the deaf. Her narrative is incredibly engaging and elicits quite an unexpected and profound emotional response. It is a powerful story of an indomitable woman’s clearance of incredible obstacles to uncover her true self. As much as it is a story of struggle, it is also one of the importance of love, compromise, and how even the most fiercely independent among us sometimes need the understanding and support of those we love.

 

  • Shortlisted for the 2014 Saskatchewan Book Awards for Non-Fiction Book of the Year and the City of Regina Award

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essays

144 pages/trade paper

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ISBN: 978-1-897235-08-9
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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
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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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ESSAY
168 pages / paper

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ISBN: 978-1-927068-03-8
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Stephen Reid

Stephen Reid has grown old in prison and seen more than his share of its solitude, its vicious cycles, and its subculture relationships. He has participated in the economics of contraband, the incredible escapes, the intimacies of torture, the miscarriages of justice, and witnessed the innocent souls whose childhood destinies doomed them to prison life. 

He has learned that everything is bearable, that the painful separation of family, children, and friend is tolerable, and that sorrow must be kept close, buried in a secret garden of the self, if one is to survive and give others who love you hope. Within his writing runs the motif that his prison life has never been far from his drug additions, but the junkie or drunk who has some straight time and means to stay that way knows a lot about the way we really live, think, feel, hope, and desire in this country.
Each of the essays in this collection is a recognition of how Reid’s imprisonment has shaped his life. Some describe his fractured boyhood and the escalation in crimes that led to his imprisonment, others detail the seductive rush and notoriety of the criminal life. There are the regrets too of how his choices have impacted the lives of his daughters, wife and family. But in each essay the refrain is “prison life”, whether it is measuring the integrity of the books in the prison library, the violence and primal intimidation inherent in all-male communities, or the torment and solace of solitary confinement. 
 
  • Winner of the 2013 City of Victoria Butler Book Prize

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essays

176 pages/trade paper

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ISBN: 978-1-897235-35-5
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Don Gayton

Interwoven Wild begins with an intimate look at Don Gayton in his BC garden with his dog Spud. Striking a series of premises — the first one being that gardening is essentially an irrational act — he logically and humorously begins to unravel the work and rituals of gardening. Engaging the reader with real gardening experiences, Gayton takes us on the microscopic steps of a gardening season and his interest in ecological succession. While commenting on the inter-reliance of species, types of soil, why weeds invade, how foreign planets appear, insects, disease and frost, he also speculates on gardeners — their needs to landscape, to purchase specialized tools, to use chemicals, to emotionally bond with trees, shrubs, flowers and vegetables.

By interlocking artists such as Monet and Caravaggio; writers such as Walt Whitman, Thoreau, Emily Dickenson, and Ann Dowden; park designer Frederick Law Olmstead, and landscape architect Christopher Alexander, Gayton reminds us that the garden has long held sway in the creative consciousness. His brief excursions into history, whether tracing the apple back to Kazakhstan, explaining how the tulip made its way from Turkey to Holland, or how the industrialist Baylock’s introduction of a smuggled Asian cherry tree destroyed the BC cherry orchids fascinate as well as instruct. For Gayton, the garden is a primordial human urge — a gift, celebration, and revelation buried in human psyche, marked in our collective mythologies — a kind of magical glue binding world culture, science and economics.

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essays

168 pages/trade paper

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ISBN: 978-1-897235-31-7
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Theresa Kishkan

Theresa Kishkan invites her readers to explore culture and nature by looking at landscape and place through a series of historical lenses, ranging from natural history to family history to the broader notions of regional and human history. In her popular essay “month of wild berries picking” she reveals the extent to which native stories articulate the complexity and importance of rules that govern relationships between species, a profoundly symbiotic world where one respected not just the territory of another species but its dung, its bones, its very spirit as well.

Resonating throughout this collection, especially when describing the natural world or in her travel essays, is a rich lyricism and a distinctive visceral imagery. Kishkan is among those literary naturalists whose words transcend the flora and fauna to engage human relationships, social concerns, historical milieus, and political boundaries. For these reasons Phantom Limb stands elegantly in its own energy and light.

  • Winner of the first annual CNFC Readers’ Choice Award

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interview/commentary

140 pages/trade paper

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ISBN: 978-1-894345-99-6
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Ned Powers


When the city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan celebrated its centenary in 2006, it looked back on the people and events that helped to shape the city’s fortunes, cultural climate and philosophy. Here, in editor and journalist Ned Powers’ interviews with some of Saskatoon’s most notable citizens, those of you who love Saskatoon and call it home can discover more about the personalities who have recently helped to shape the social climate of the city.

The interviews conducted over the past ten years include: Al Anderson, Dr. Marc Baltzan, Greg Barnsley, Sid Buckwold, Jack Chrones, Bob Corrigall, Pay and Mel Dahlen,Sylvia Fedoruk, Dennis Fisher, Robert Hinitt, W.D. (Bill) Hunter, David Kaplan, Skip Kutz, Dr. Samd Landa, Spero Leakos, Howard Nixon, Bill Perehudoff, Ross and Herb Piner, Lloyd Saunders, Ed Sebestyen, Tillie Taylor, Mary Tkachuk, Nelson Warner, Cliff Wright, and Joe Young.

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essays

273 pages/trade paper

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ISBN: 978-1-894345-95-8
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Susan Musgrave

Evocative and superbly rakish, this collection is a generous diagnosis of the often offbeat worlds of family, writing, travel, sex and death as interpreted through the real-life adventures of Susan Musgrave. Equally at home recounting the lore of her outlaw husband, Stephen Reid, or interpreting the arcane rituals of her teenage girls, Musgrave brings to her literary essays that same invigorating freshness for which she has become known through her fiction and poetry. In settings ranging from the aching solitude of the Queen Charlotte Islands to the sweaty intensity of bandido apartments in Panama, Musgrave muses with her legendary wit and pastiche, while creating graffiti-like impressions of the writer’s essential take on those closest to her. One of Canada’s most publicized and popular writers, Susan Musgrave is unique, and this is the reader’s chance to get up close and personal.

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