October 22, 2012
Canada Reads 2013: Dundurn Press
And so, to recap: This year Canada Reads is once again crowd-sourcing their shortlist, asking members of the very literate public to submit their suggestions for long-form, fictional contenders for the top prize. This year’s catch: the books will be divided regionally, one each from five Canadian regions will go toe-to-toe. I don’t think this is much of a limitation – we love our writers wherever they come from, right? The only thing I would like to see, and what I am actively promoting this month, is some representation from Those Who Came Before us, a book or two, maybe, written at least 20 years ago. I don’t care where they are from.
For the last two weeks I have been profiling publishers who have, for one reason or another, been safeguarding our literary heritage and keeping some older classics in-print and available for us. From those publishers I have been putting forth a few suggestions, books I don’t think should be overlooked by writers whose names we all know but who we haven’t, I bet, actually read. Look back: I have covered House of Anansi’s A-List, The University of Alberta Press, McGill-Queens University Press and Penguin Classics.
Let’s kick off this week with Dundurn Press. I looked this way because I remembered their lovely and, frankly, hilarious Voyageur Classics (check out the Hudson’s Bay Company colours – awesome!), but quickly reminded myself that they do us the great service of keeping ALL SIXTEEN of Mazo de la Roche’s Jalna books in print. I know, !!! With no further ado, look this way:
“Valancy lives a drab life with her overbearing mother and prying aunt. Then a shocking diagnosis from Dr. Trent prompts her to make a fresh start. For the first time, she does and says exactly what she feels. As she expands her limited horizons, Valancy undergoes a transformation, discovering a new world of love and happiness. One of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s only novels intended for an adult audience.”
“In The Building of Jalna, Adeline, an impulsive bride with an Irish temper, and her husband, Captain Whiteoak, select Lake Ontario as the site of their new home. De la Roche chronicles their trials and tribulations during the building of the house, the swimming and skating parties, and the jealousies and humourous events that arise. This is book 1 of 16 in The Whiteoak Chronicles.”