A Globe and Mail top 100 book of 2012
Winner of the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction
A bestselling author embarks on a profound and dramatic journey through the eloquent landscape of southwestern Saskatchewan.
When Candace Savage and her partner buy a house in the romantic little town of Eastend, she has no idea what awaits her. At first she enjoys exploring the area around their new home, including the boyhood haunts of the celebrated American writer Wallace Stegner, the backroads of the Cypress Hills, the dinosaur skeletons at the T.Rex Discovery Centre, the fossils to be found in the dust-dry hills. She also revels in her encounters with the wild inhabitants of this mysterious land -- two coyotes in a ditch at night, their eyes glinting in the dark; a deer at the window; a cougar pussy-footing it through a gully a few minutes' walk from town.
But as Savage explores further, she uncovers a darker reality -- a story of cruelty and survival set in the still-recent past -- and finds that she must reassess the story she grew up with as the daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter of prairie homesteaders.
Beautifully written, impeccably researched, and imbued with Savage's passion for this place, A Geography of Blood offers both a shocking new version of plains history and an unforgettable portrait of the windswept, shining country of the Cypress Hills, a holy place that helps us remember.
"In this book the gifted Candace Savage has written a part-memoir, part-history of the Eastend, Saskatchewan area where I spent half my life. She has done it with wonder, precision, praise and grief, adding to and extending the body of work about this extraordinary place, filling in gaps and providing another point of view. It is a heart-warming, yet incisive work that any reader will find hard to put down." -- Sharon Butala
"This is a brave and necessary book, eloquently written, deeply felt. Savage makes us taste the past in the dust, hear it in the wind, see its traces across the sky." -- Lorna Crozier, author of Small Beneath the Sky