Drawing on his research into the journals of early Canadian fur traders, poet Endre Farkas has crafted an imaginative account of one man’s transformation in the strange land that becomes his home. Beginning with the narrator’s harrowing sea voyage from the Orkney Islands to Newfoundland, and ending with his uneasy retirement in Montreal, this fictionalized journal describes the “crackling swirls” of the Northern Lights and the “silver threads” of rushing rivers, lists the business transactions of the all mighty Company, and recounts everyday life in the fur trade, from celebratory nights of feasting and fire water, to catastrophic periods of famine, disease, and slaughter. This is a story of the unexpected change that comes over a man as he witnesses the beauty and hardship, compassion and cruelty, ambition and exploitation that forged a nation.
About the Author
Endre Farkas was born in Hungary and is a child of Holocaust survivors. He and his parents escaped during the 1956 uprising and settled in Montreal. His work has a political consciousness and experimental bent. He is a genre fluid writer who has collaborated with dancers, musicians and actors to move the poem from page to stage. Still at the forefront of the Quebec English language literary scene – writing, editing, and performing – Farkas is the author of eleven books, including Quotidian Fever: New and Selected Poems (1974-2007). He is the two-time regional winner of the CBC Poetry “Face Off” Competition. His play, Haunted House, based on the life and work of the poet A.M. Klein, was produced in Montreal in 2009. He has produced videpoems that have been screened around the world. His collaboration with Carolyn Marie Souaid Blood is Blood won first prize at the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival in Berlin, Germany. Farkas has given readings throughout Canada, USA, Europe and Latin America. His poems have been translated into French, Spanish, Hungarian, Italian, Slovenian and Turkish. His novel Home Game was shortlisted for the Hugh MacLennan Prize for fiction 2020.