From the Publisher
A National Bestseller and a Globe and Mail Best
Book of the Year
One of the most powerful, gripping works of fiction to come out of
Canada, Red Dog, Red Dog is Patrick Lane's
virtuoso debut novel.
An epic novel of unrequited dreams and forestalled lives,
Red Dog, Red Dog is set in the mid-1950s, in a
small town in the interior of B.C. in the unnamed Okanagan Valley.
The novel focuses on the Stark family, centring on brothers Eddy
and Tom, who are bound together by family loyalty and inarticulate
There is Tom and Eddy's father, Elmer Stark, a violent man with a
troubled past, and Lillian, who married as a girl to escape life on
the farm with her widowed mother, and now retreats into her own
isolation. Unrepentant, bitter, older brother Eddy speeds freely
along, his desperate path fuelled by drugs and weapons, while Tom,
a loner, attempts to conceal their secrets and protect what remains
of the family. Eventually, an unspeakable crime causes him to come
face to face with something traumatic that has lain hidden in him
since he was a boy. Narrated in part by one of the dead infant
daughters Elmer has buried, the story unfolds gradually, as it
weaves in family stories that reach back to the depression days and
the harsh life of settlers in the 1880s West.
This is also a novel about a small community of people, about
complicated loyalties, about betrayals and shifts of power. Filled
with moments of harrowing violence and breathtaking description, of
shattering truths and deep humanity, Red Dog, Red
Dog is about the legacies of the past and the
possibilities of forgiveness and redemption. With this astonishing
novel, one of Canada's best poets propels himself into the
forefront of our finest novelists.
From the Jacket
"Patrick Lane's Red Dog, Red Dog is a tale of
blood, loyalty and redemption. The novel centers on Eddy and Tom
Stark, two brothers struggling with their hardscrabble inheritance
in the Okanagan Valley. Theirs is a fiercely unforgiving world,
and, for the reader, an unforgettable one. The strength of Lane's
perfectly cadenced prose may bring to mind Faulkner, Cormac
McCarthy and, inevitably, The Bible. There is a
deep wisdom in this book and I cannot recommend it highly enough."
- Richard Bachman, A Different Drummer Books
"Lane's exquisite craftsmanship is on display…
particularly his unerring instinct for images that wound and
enlighten in equal measure."
- Globe and Mail
"The violence and anger [are] matched only by the sublime radiance
of the prose…. While the novel is of a time and place, its
significance is universal."
- Victoria Times Colonist
About the Author
Patrick Lane has received numerous awards for his writing,
including the Governor General's Award for Poetry. His acclaimed
memoir, There Is a Season, won the Lieutenant
Governor's Award for Literary Excellence and the inaugural British
Columbia Award for Canadian Non-fiction. Lane lives near Victoria,
B.C. Red Dog, Red Dog is his debut novel.