• Hot off the Press


    Little Yellow House

    Carissa Halton

    978-1-77212-375-3


    Waiting

    Rona Altrows and Julie Sedivy

    978-1-77212-383-8


    Traditions, Traps and Trends

    Jarich Oosten & Barbara Helen Miller, Editors

    978-1-77212-372-2

     


    Magnetic North

    Jenna Butler

    978-1-77212-382-1

    Al Rashid Mosque

    Earle H. Waugh

    978-1-77212-339-5


    Anarchists in the Academy

    Dani Spinosa

    978-1-77212-376-0


    Keetsahnak / Our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Sisters

    Kim Anderson, Maria Campbell and Christi Belcourt, Editors

    978-1-77212-367-8

    Margaret Laurence and Jack McClelland, Letters

    Laura K. Davis and Linda M. Morra, Editors

    978-1-77212-335-7


    Rain Shadow

    Nicholas Bradley

    978-1-77212-370-8


    Metis Pioneers

    Doris Jeanne MacKinnon

    978-1-77212-271-8


    Welcome to the Anthropocene

    Alice Major

    978-1-77212-368-5


    Songs for Dead Children

    E.D. Blodgett

    978-1-77212-369-2


    Wisdom in Nonsense

    Heather O’Neill

    978-1-77212-377-7


    The Evolving Feminine Ballet Body

    Pirkko Markula & Marianne I. Clark, Editors

    978-1-77212-334-0


    Inhabiting Memory in Canadian Literature / Habiter la mémoire dans la littérature canadienne

    Benjamin Authers, Maïté Snauwaert & Daniel Laforest, Editors

    978-1-77212-299-2


    The Larger Conversation

    Tim Lilburn

    978-1-77212-299-2


    The Left-Handed Dinner Party and Other Stories


    Myrl Coulter

    978-1-77212-328-9


    Searching for Mary Schäffer

    Colleen Skidmore

    978-1-77212-298-5


    The Dragon Run

    Tony Robinson-Smith

    978-1-77212-300-5


    Remembering Air India

    Chandrima Chakraborty, Amber Dean and Angela Failler, Editors

    978-1-77212-259-6


    Annie Muktuk and Other Stories

    Norma Dunning

    978-1-77212-297-8


    Trudeau’s Tango

    Darryl Raymaker

    978-1-77212-265-7


    Only Leave a Trace

    Roger Epp

    978-1-77212-266-4


    Beyond “Understanding Canada”

    Melissa Tanti, Jeremy Haynes, Daniel Coleman and Lorraine York, Editors

    978-1-77212-269-5


    Flora Annie Steel

    Susmita Roye, Editor

    978-1-77212-260-2


    Listen. If

    Douglas Barbour

    978-1-77212-254-1


    The Burgess Shale

    Margaret Atwood

    978-1-77212-301-2


    Tar Wars
    9781772121407

    Geo Takach

    978-1-77212-140-7


    Believing is not the same as Being Saved

    Lisa Martin

    978-1-77212-187-2


    Nuala

    Kimmy Beach

    978-1-77212-296-1


    Little Wildheart

    Micheline Maylor

    978-1-77212-233-6


    Farm Workers in Western Canada

    Shirley A. McDonald & Bob Barnetson, Editors

    978-1-77212-138-4


    Surviving the Gulag

    Ilse Johansen

    978-1-77212-038-7


    Imagining the Supernatural North

    Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough, Danielle Marie Cudmore & Stefan Donecker, Editors

    978-1-77212-267-1


    Seeking Order in Anarchy

    Robert W. Murray, Editor

    978-1-77212-139-1


    Care, Cooperation and Activism in Canada’s Northern Social Economy

    Frances Abele & Chris Southcott, Editors

    978-1-77212-087-5


    Crow Never Dies

    Larry Frolick

    978-1-77212-085-1


    Rising Abruptly

    Gisèle Villeneuve

    978-1-77212-261-9


    Ten Canadian Writers in Context

    Marie Carrière, Curtis Gillespie & Jason Purcell, Editors

    978-1-77212-141-4


    The Woman Priest

    Sylvain Maréchal |
    Translation and Introduction by Sheila Delany

    978-1-77212-123-0


    Counterblasting Canada

    Gregory Betts, Paul Hjartarson & Kristine Smitka, Editors

    978-1-77212-037-0


    One Child Reading

    9781772120394

    Margaret Mackey

    978-1-77212-039-4


    The Home Place

    9781772121193

    dennis cooley

    978-1-77212-119-3


    Sustainability Planning and Collaboration in Rural Canada

    Lars K. Hallström, Mary A. Beckie, Glen T. Hvenegaard & Karsten Mündel, Editors

    978-1-77212-040-0

      


    Sleeping in Tall Grass

    Richard Therrien

    978-1-77212-122-3  

      


    Who Needs Books?

    Lynn Coady

    978-1-77212-124-7  

      


    Apartheid in Palestine

    Ghada Ageel, Editor

    978-1-77212-082-0

      


    100 Days

    9781772121216

    Juliane Okot Bitek

    978-1-77212-121-6


    Unsustainable Oil

    Jon Gordon

    978-1-77212-036-3


    Gendered Militarism in Canada

    Nancy Taber, Editor

    978-1-77212-084-4


    A Canterbury Pilgrimage / An Italian Pilgrimage

    Elizabeth Robins Pennell & Joseph Pennell | Dave Buchanan, Editor

    978-1-77212-042-4

      


    Idioms of Sámi Health and Healing

    UAP Sami 1

    Barbara Helen Miller

    978-1-77212-088-2


    Grant Notley

    9781772121254

     Howard Leeson

    978-1-77212-125-4


    Weaving a Malawi Sunrise

     Roberta Laurie

    978-1-77212-086-8


    Cultural Mapping and the Digital Sphere

     Ruth Panofsky & Kathleen Kellett, Editors

    978-1-77212-049-3

     


    The Little Third Reich on Lake Superior

    Ernest Robert Zimmermann
    Michel S. Beaulieu & David K. Ratz, Editors

    978-0-88864-673-6


    Standard candles

    Alice Major

    978-1-77212-091-2  


    Magazines, Travel, and Middlebrow Culture

    Faye Hammill and Michelle Smith

    978-1-77212-083-7


    The Chinchaga Firestorm

    Cordy Tymstra

    978-1-77212-003-5


    Why Grow Here

    Kathryn Chase Merrett

    978-1-77212-048-6

     


    Prairie Bohemian

    Trevor W. Harrison

    978-1-77212-047-9

     


    A Canadian Girl in South Africa

    E. Maud Graham
    Michael Dawson, Catherine Gidney,
    and Susanne M. Klausen, Editors

    978-1-77212-046-2

     


    Overcoming Conflicting Loyalties

     Irene Sevcik, Michael Rothery, Nancy Nason-Clark and Robert Pynn

    978-1-77212-050-9


    Fundamentals of Public Relations and Marketing Communications in Canada

    William Wray Carney & Leah-Ann Lymer, Editor

    978-1-77212-048-8


    War Paintings of the Tsuu T’ina Nation

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    Arni Brownstone

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    Upgrading Oilsands Bitumen and Heavy Oil

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    Murray R. Gray

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    From the Elephant’s Back

    Lawrence Durrell
    James Gifford, Editor

    978-1-77212-043-1


    Trying Again to Stop Time

    Jalal Barzanji 

    978-1-77212-043-1


    A Year of Days

    Myrl Coulter

    978-1-77212-045-5

     


    A Tale of Monstrous Extravagance

    Tomson Highway

    978-1-77212-041-7

     


    Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities

    Shawna Ferris

    978-1-77212-005-9

     


    Theatre, Teens, Sex Ed

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    Jan Selman & Jane Heather

    978-1-77212-006-6

     


    Landscapes of War and Memory

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    Sherrill Grace 

    978-1-77212-000-4

     


    Personal Modernisms

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    James Gifford

    978-1-77212-001-1


    Conrad Kain

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    Zac Robinson, Editor

    978-1-77212-004-2

     


    Regenerations / Régénérations

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    Marie Carrière & Patricia Demers, Editors

    978-0-88864-627-9


    small things left behind

    Ella Zeltserman

    978-1-77212-002-8


    Climber’s Paradise

    PearlAnn Reichwein

    978-0-88864-674-3


    Aboriginal Populations

    Frank Trovato & Anatole Romaniuk

    978-0-88864-625-5

     


    Dreaming of Elsewhere

    Esi Edugyan

    978-0-88864-821-1


    abecedarium

    Dennis Cooley

    978-0-88864-645-3

     


    A Most Beautiful Deception

    9780888646620_large

    Melissa Morelli Lacroix

    978-0-88864-662-0


    as if

    9780888647276_large

    E.D. Blodgett

    978-0-88864-727-6


    Will not forget both laughter and tears

    9780888645449_large

    Tomoko Mitani

    Yukari F. Meldrum, Translator

    978-0-88864-544-9


    Sanctioned Ignorance: The Politics of Knowledge Production and the Teaching of the Literatures of Canada

    9780888645456_large

    Paul Martin

    978-0-88864-545-6


    The Remarkable Chester Ronning: Proud Son of China

    Chester Ronning COVER2

    Brian L. Evans

    978-0-88864-663-7

     


    Just Getting Started: Edmonton Public Library’s First 100 Years, 1913-2013

    9780888647283_large

    Todd Babiak

    978-0-88864-728-3


    Shy: An Anthology

    9780888646705_large

    Naomi K. Lewis & Rona Altrows, Editors

    978-0-88864-670-5


    The Peace-Athabasca Delta: Portrait of a Dynamic Ecosystem

    UAP Peace Athabasca COVER1

    Kevin P. Timoney

    978-0-88864-603-3

     


    At the limit of breath: Poems on the films of Jean-Luc Godard

    9780888646712_large

    Stephen Scobie

    978-0-88864-671-2

     


    Boom and Bust Again: Policy Challenges for a Commodity-Based Economy

    9780888646286_large

    David L. Ryan, Editor

    978-0-88864-628-6

     


    Ethics for the Practice of Psychology in Canada, Revised and Expanded Edition

    9780888646521_large

    Derek Truscott & Kenneth H. Crook

    978-0-88864-652-1


    Métis in Canada: History, Identity, Law and Politics

    9780888646408_large

    Christopher Adams, Gregg Dahl & Ian Peach, Editors

    978-0-88864-640-8


    You Haven’t Changed a Bit, Stories

    cover with line

    Astrid Blodgett

    978-0-88864-644-6


    Massacre Street

    9780888646750_large

    Paul Zits

    978-0-88864-675-0 


    Dear Sir, I Intend to Burn Your Book

    9780888646798_large

    Lawrence Hill

    978-0-88864-679-8 


    The Last Temptation of Bond

    9780888646439_large

    Kimmy Beach

    978-0-88864-558-6


    Recognition and Modes of Knowledge

    9780888645586_large

    Teresa G. Russo

    978-0-88864-558-6

     


    Healing Histories

    9780888646507_large

    Laurie Meijers Drees

    978-0-88864-650-7

     


    Travels and Tales of Miriam Green Ellis:
    Pioneer Journalist of the Canadian West

    9780888646262_large

    Patricia Demers

    978-0-88864-626-2


    Disinherited Generations:

    Our Struggle to Reclaim Treaty Rights for First Nation Women and their Descendants

    9780888646422_large

    Nellie Carlson & Kathleen Steinhauer
    as told to Linda Goyette

    978-0-88864-642-2


    Canada’s Constitutional Revolution

    9780888646491_large

    Barry L. Strayer

    978-0-88864-649-1

     


    We Gambled Everything

    The Life and Time of an Oilman

    Arne Nielsen

    978-0-88864-598-2


    Canadian Folk Art to 1950

    John A. Fleming & Michael J. Rowan

    James A. Chambers, Photographer

    978-0-88864-556-2 (paper)

    978-0-88864-630-9 (cloth)

     


    Game Plan: A Social History of Sport in Alberta

    Karen Wall

    978-0-88864-594-4



    Dramatic Licence

    Louise Ladouceur
    Translator Richard Lebeau

    978-0-88864-538-8


    Countering Displacements

    Daniel Coleman, Erin Goheen Glanville, Wafaa Hasan & Agnes Kramer-Hamstra, Editors

    978-0-88864-605-7


    Cross-Media Ownership and Democratic Practice in Canada

    Walter C. Soderlund, Colette Brin, Lydia Miljan & Kai Hilderbrandt

    978-0-88864-605-7


    Civilizing the Wilderness

    A. A. den Otter

    978-0-88864-546-3


    Anti-Saints: The New Golden Legend of Sylvain Maréchal

    Sheila Delany

    978-0-88864-604-0


    Imagining Ancient Women

    Annabel  Lyon

    978-0-88864-629-3


    Continuations 2

    Douglas Barbour, Sheila E. Murphy

    978-0-88864-596-8


    Baba’s Kitchen Medicines: 

    Michael Mucz

    978-0-88864-514-2


    Pursuing China: 

    Memoir of a Beaver Liaison Officer

    Brian L. Evans

    978-0-88864-600-2


    The Grads Are Playing Tonight!:

    The Story of the Edmonton Commercial Graduates Basketball Club

    M. Ann Hall

    978-0-88864-602-6


    Alfalfa to Ivy:

    Memoir of a Harvard Medical School Dean

    Joseph B. Martin

    978-1-55195-700-5


    Not Drowning But Waving

    Susan Brown, Jeanne Perreault, Jo-Ann Wallace & Heather Zwicker, Editors

    978-0-88864-614-9


    Narratives of Citizenship

    Aloys  N.M.  Fleischmann, Nancy  Van Styvendale & Cody  McCarroll, Editors

    978-0-88864-518-0


    Winter in Fireland

    Nicholas  Coghlan

    978-0-88864-547-0


    The Sasquatch at Home
    Traditional Protocols & Modern Storytelling


    Eden Robinson

    978-0-88864-559-3


    At the Interface of Culture and Medicine

    Earle  H.  Waugh, Olga  Szafran & Rodney  A.  Crutcher, Editors

    978-0-88864-532-6


    Apostrophes VII: Sleep, You, a Tree

    E.  D.  Blodgett

    978-0-88864-554-8


    Demeter Goes Skydiving

    Susan McCaslin

    978-0-88864-551-7


    Kat Among the Tigers

    Kath MacLean

    978-0-88864-552-4


    Retooling the Humanities

    Daniel Coleman & Smaro Kamboureli, Editors

    978-0-88864-541-8


    Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up?

    Geo Takach

    978-0-88864-543-2


    Un art de vivre par temps de catastrophe

    Dany Laferrière

    978-0-88864-553-1


    Rudy Wiebe: Collected Stories, 1955–2010

    Rudy Wiebe
    Introduction by Thomas Wharton

    978-0-88864-540-1


    Prodigal Daughter: A Journey to Byzantium

    Myrna Kostash

    978-0-88864-534-0


    The Contemporary Arab Reader on Political Islam

    Ibrahim Abu-Rabi’, Editor

    978-0-88864-557-9


    Locating the Past / Discovering the Present: Perspectives on Religion, Culture, and Marginality

    David Gay & Stephen R. Reimer, Editor

    978-0-88864-499-2


    “Collecting Stamps Would Have Been More Fun”: Canadian Publishing and the Correspondence of Sinclair Ross, 1933–1986

    Jordan Stouck & David Stouck, Editors

    978-0-88864-521-0


    The Beginning of Print Culture in Athabasca Country

    Patricia Demers, Naomi McIlwraith & Dorothy Thunder, Translators

    Arok Wolvengrey, Foreword

    Patricia Demers, Introduction

    978-0-88864-515-9


    The Measure of Paris

    Stephen Scobie

    978-0-88864-533-3


    Emblems of Empire: Selections from the Mactaggart Art Collection

    John E. Vollmer & Jacqueline Simcox

    978-0-88864-486-2


    Taking the Lead: Strategies and Solutions from Female Coaches

    Sheila Robertson, Editor
    Dru Marshall, Introduction

    978-0-88864-542-5


    Ukrainian Through its Living Culture: Advanced Level Language Textbook

    Alla Nedashkivska

    978-0-88864-517-3


    Bosnia: In the Footsteps of Gavrilo Princip

    Tony Fabijancic

    978-0-88864-519-7


    wild horses


    rob mclennan

    978-0-88864-535-7


    Memory’s Daughter



    Alice Major

    978-0-88864-539-5


    Too Bad: Sketches Toward a Self-Portrait

    Robert Kroetsch

    978-0-88864-537-1


    J.B. Harkin: Father of Canada’s National Parks


    E. J. (Ted) Hart

    978-0-88864-512-8


    People of the Lakes: Stories of Our Van Tat Gwich’in Elders/Googwandak Nakhwach’ànjòo Van Tat Gwich’in


    Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation
    Shirleen Smith

    978-0-88864-505-0


    The rose that grew from concrete: Teaching and Learning with Disenfranchised Youth

    0888645163roseThatGrewFromConcrete

    Diane Wishart

    978-0-88864-516-6


    The Meteorites of Alberta

    0888644752meteoritesOfAlberta

    Anthony  J.  Whyte / Chris Herd, Foreword

    978-0-88864-475-6


    When Edmonton Was Young

    0888645112whenEdmontonWasYoung

    Tony Cashman / Leslie Latta-Guthrie, Foreword

    978-0-88864-511-1


    Heavy Burdens on Small Shoulders: The Labour of Pioneer Children on the Canadian Prairies

    0888645090heavyBurdensOnSmallShoulders

    Sandra Rollings-Magnusson

    978-0-88864-509-8


    Retiring the Crow Rate: A Narrative of Political Management

    0888645139retiringTheCrowRate

    Arthur Kroeger / John  Fraser, Afterword

    978-0-88864-513-5

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BPAA Conference and Gala 2016

The annual Book Publishers Association of Alberta Conference and Awards celebration was held in Calgary’s Hotel Arts, which provided an inspiring backdrop for three days of activity.

The conference was filled with interesting and instructive presentations by publishers, writers, librarians, funders, and even a film producer who told the audience that he was looking for “untold and unbelievable” stories to develop. Sharing information is a powerful tool in the constantly changing business of publishing.

The Awards celebration started out with Will Ferguson’s fabulous and funny keynote speech that left the audience wanting more. Fred Stenson kept the program moving. And the food was truly excellent.

The University of Alberta Press came away with two awards. Standard candles by Alice Major won the Robert Kroetsch Award for Poetry and Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities by Shawna Ferris won the Book of the Year in the Scholarly and Academic category.

Here is what the jurors had to say about our books:

Robert Koetsch Award for Poetry

The jury was impressed by the design quality and promotional efforts of all the entries this year, and was encouraged by the high bar that was set. They were unanimous not only on 9781772120912_largethe winner but on the runner up as well. Above and beyond the design and promotion, what set the top two books apart was the quality of the writing. However, this book was the clear winner, given the depth and breadth of its subject matter as well as the exceptional writing. It is an intricate weaving of complex scientific theory with the stuff of everyday human existence in a voice that is thoughtful, wry, and deeply compassionate. The publisher is to be congratulated on the success of the design and on their strong and effective promotional efforts. A solid team effort to publish an exceptional book of poetry.

Scholarly and Academic

This book is a groundbreaking look at the issue of prostitution in Canada’s urban centers. 9781772120059_largeIt is of particular relevance given the national inquiry into murdered and missing Aboriginal women. The author is to be commended for incorporating the voices of individuals in the sex trade, and for shining light on the vulnerability of sex workers. The book challenges the traditional mores of Canadian society, and will serve as an important reference work for social workers, law makers and law enforcers, as well as educators. The publisher is to be commended for its work in publishing this seminal study.

Congratulations to Alice and Shawna, and to all who were involved in publishing these great books!

A big thank you goes to the BPAA, especially Kieran Leblanc, Tyler Mudrey, Glenn Rollans, and the Professional Development Committee for organizing such a great event. It couldn’t have happened without a host of funders and sponsors: Alberta Media Fund, Canada Council, Department of Canadian Heritage, Access Copyright Foundation, Calgary Arts Development, the City of Calgary, the City of Edmonton, Edmonton Arts Council, Friesens, Houghton Boston, Marquis, and MNP LPP.

See you all next year!

 

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So, What’s the Story?

Robert Kroestch was a panelist at the Future of Story conference, hosted by MacEwan University on February 5 & 6, 2010. Here is a copy of his remarks.

*****

Parents ask the question. School principals ask the question. Police ask the question. Journalists ask the question.

So. What’s the story?

The questioner has two expectations. He or she expects to find out what happened. He or she, at the same time, expects to receive a not-quite reliable version of what happened.

You might, in answering, be mistaken. You might have neglected a few facts. You might even be lying.

That is, every story begets the need for more stories. [When I speak more slowly it means I’m offering wisdom.]

Now the prophetic voices at Grant MacEwan are asking us—not themselves—they’re asking us, So, what’s the story going to be?

I should begin by confessing I’m a recovering novelist. My doctors have me on a heavy dose of poetry. It seems to be working.

I’m persuaded that I’ve kicked the habit. I can now look back, in quiet and relaxation, at the foibles and flaws of story. Even now, in my use of alliteration, I see I’m turning from story towards a poem.

We live in a time when the possibilities of story are exploding. The idea of exploding, of course, is a version of story, as your TV screen will tell you at any time of day. Like you, I am a symbol-making animal. I take all the TV explosions to be metamorphic, even if possibly real as well. It’s that metaphoric possibility that delights us. And confuses us.

We need more stories to explain the stories we are told.

Story is one of our principal ways of thinking. What a shaky way to go about thinking. We base our individual lives, our cultural groups, even our very existence, on stories. Once upon a time… In the beginning was… On a dark and stormy night… Have you heard the one about? Premier Stelmach announced today…

We base society on stories, yet we can’t for a moment agree on what the stories are saying.

Fortunately, the emerging story-makers in the audience will remedy all that.
Let’s get on with the wisdom of your elders.

One of my sisters, when I published a new novel, would ask, “Is this a real story or did you make it up?” Back then, I gave the answer, “I made it up.” She, brusquely, returned the book I was trying to give her. She never read one of my novels.

My sister read cookbooks. She could read a cookbook and imagine whole feasts. She gave me a cookbook. She lent me one: Easy Meals for Lazy Bachelors. I tried to make a beef stew. The dog left the kitchen. So much for creative non-fiction.

Back then I said that my novels were made up. Now I’m not so sure.

Perhaps the task of the writer is to make up what isn’t made up.

I’ll try another example: One of the places where I see hope is in social networking. In these developing strategies of the Internet, we can tell lies, we can be promiscuous, we can be poetic, we can tell the bald truth. Purity is fatal to story. Every existing version of story, from gossip to the yarn to the novel to the sacred text, is full of desire and exuberance, violence and terror, facts and possible facts and contradictions.

This new version of story, social networking, is written by many authors, authors who invent others and themselves. Surprise erupts through the clichés of story.

[If you were lucky enough to hear Mr. Hanson last night, you know of the incredible speed of the cuts in his clips, the amazing eruption of surprise. The amazing ability of the human brain to handle story.]

At one time the censors worried about the novel. Now they don’t even read the cover flaps of novels. Now they worry about the Internet. That’s an encouraging sign. Censors give us a good indication of what’s in the future.

Story is at once glue and solvent.

But let’s look at something as pinned-down and trackable as the novel.

Currently, as I see it, the novel is becoming prisoner to its own aesthetic. It has become, too often, a bad imitation of the greatness, the supreme greatness, of Jane Austen. It has become an ingrown batch of stories about privileged people living trivial lives, the women, without needing jobs, imitating liberation, the men trying, with no help from the women, trying busily to rectify erectile dysfunction.

The novel has to become young again, down and dirty promiscuous, in bed with poetry and science fiction and plain lies and wild imagination and evolution and revolution and disgust and shameless desire. The success of historical fiction at the moment is a small signal. The borrowings from the fantasy and the detective story are a sign. What a dangerous, exciting, prodigious time in which to be a young story-teller.

Story is always waiting to be rescued from itself. How’s that for wisdom?

Part of the diminishment of what the novel might be comes from a naïve sense of what entertainment might be. Story is often about difficult or impossible choices. It challenges our very being. Pure entertainment makes the other guy the goat; it makes us, as mere voyeurs, feel comfortable and privileged. And safe.

Perhaps poetry is, once again, a place of serious entertainment. For me, story begins with Homer’s two great poems, The Iliad and The Odyssey. If you want a dangerous woman, read about Helen of Troy; if you want a tricky, attractive man, read about Odysseus.

Perhaps what we need is a social network on which the participants can only address each other in verse. We would have to think about language; we would have to think. Unless, of course, the thumb replaces the mouth as our means of communication.

But—back, one more and final time, to the novel.

I’ll change my confession: I didn’t voluntarily take a cure for novel-writing; rather, I made the necessary mistake of tackling the impossible.

I tried to write a novel that I was going to call The Fence. It was going to be about an aging Alberta man who was trying to build a fence. In the foothills and the first range of the Rockies west of Edmonton. A wild country full of ghost towns. My hero, Charlie Aspen, was going to try to start a cattle ranch in the forest. He had been a coal miner; he came out of the ground.

Charlie Aspen acquired the land around an abandoned coalmine and began to build a fence. Then he noticed the wild forest and moose pastures and beaver ponds and valleys around his land and instead of closing his fence he began to extend it. Perhaps we are all squatters. Then he fell in love with a beautiful Spanish woman whose husband believed the area now called Alberta still belonged to Spain.

Charlie was disappointed in love. He needed more land. He still had not such much as a single cow.

One dark and stormy night, sitting at my computer, I realized that I was Charlie Aspen. I, the novelist, was endlessly extending my fence. I couldn’t close it, because I longed to embrace the whole West. Maybe even the whole world. I realized I wasn’t going to make it.

One last bit of wisdom: remember, story-tellers. Just to attempt the impossible is victory enough.

So. What’s the future of story?

—Robert Kroetsch

Congress 2008, Vancouver

With Congress* in Vancouver this year, we decided to have a greater presence. So, instead of simply organizing catalogues, designing order forms, producing signage, selecting books, and arranging shipping, I came to the conference for two days. This is the fourth Congress I’ve attended, and as usual, I found it a rewarding experience. I appreciate the opportunity to talk to scholars in various disciplines, to see the depth and scope of books being published, and to share ideas and stories with my peers.

I particularly enjoyed meeting colleagues from Wilfrid Laurier University Press (Lisa Quinn, Leslie Macredie, and Clare Hitchens) and Canadian Scholars Press (Rick Walker). It was great to re-connect with David Carr and Cheryl Miki of the University of Manitoba—who were celebrating 40 years of publishing—and Brian Mlazgar of Canadian Plains Research Centre.

It was delightful to host author Gloria Mehlmann and chat over lunch at Sage Café and to meet her husband, Peter. (Boy, do I ever recommend this on-campus restaurant, despite the drilling and pounding of the contractors working one floor below.) The food, service, and view were all exemplary. Gloria was so pleased to see a mock-up of her forthcoming book on display: Gifted to Learn.

I also had a chance to catch up with one of my favourite marketing associates from a few years back, Laraine Coates, who left University of Alberta Press to take a Masters in Publishing—and has stayed on in Vancouver with Pacific Educational Press. And I was fortunate to overlap for a morning with a good friend, Catherine Edwards, who I first met when we both worked for Weigl Educational Publishers in Regina. She is a gifted publisher—a triple-threat editor, administrator, and sales person—and one of the brightest people I know.

Next year, Congress will be in Ottawa. Hmm…

*Each spring, the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Science Annual Congress acts as an umbrella for dozens of scholarly societies to come together and share conference resources; a meta-conference. While imperfect, it allows publishers and others an opportunity to interact with several thousand scholars in a wide arrange of disciplines over six to ten days of meetings.