A Geography of Blood: Unearthing Memory from a Prairie Landscape

Hardcover | August 4, 2012

byCandace Savage

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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. Also available in paperback.

Published in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation.

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From the Publisher

A Globe and Mail top 100 book of 2012Winner of the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for NonfictionA 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 awai...

Candace Savage is the author of more than two dozen books, including Prairie: A Natural History, which was named Book of the Year at the Saskatchewan Book Awards. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, she lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

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see all books by Candace Savage
Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 8.75 × 6 × 0.88 inPublished:August 4, 2012Publisher:Greystone Books Ltd.Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1553652347

ISBN - 13:9781553652342

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Editorial Reviews

"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 "'A Geography of Blood' offers a shocking version of plains history and an unforgettable portrait of the Cypress Hills, a holy place for First Nations people." -- Winnipeg Free Press "...the breadth of [Savage's] two dozen books shows she's really a writer of place. It's the intersection of landscape, people and natural history that most intensely captures her attention, and that focus is on display in Geography of Blood, a meandering memoir that ultimately arrives at a disquieting destination..." -- Maclean's "Savage weaves a gripping narration of regret and shame. Hers is a bittersweet tale of the land and its histories...It's a book with perfect pitch, combining careful observation, history and imagination into a wonderfully modulated account of life in a harsh corner of our near neighbour." -- Winnipeg Free Press "Savage conjures from an 'empty' landscape a deeper, earthier past land; and as a whimsical investigation turns into 'full-on obsession,' she unveils a place filled with secrets and ghosts." -- Globe & Mail "It is timeless nature, not the march of progress, that beckons Savage and Bell, and no wonder...the cottonwoods, the creeks, the 'strange, misshapen hills that made me think of ancient, fantastical worlds' --never cease to enthrall." -- National Post "Savage's retelling of this tragic era of Canadian history is heartfelt and thought provoking. Her story weaves descriptions and quotes from historical documents into a narrative threaded with the stories of First Nations residents who live on reserves near Eastend. Their voices bring the  book into the present. Fluidly written and conversational, 'A Geography of Blood' artfully unearths Eastend's astonishingly complex natural and cultural history." -- Canadian Geographic "Savage has a beautiful facility with language and brings the reader into the heart of the Prairies. In addition to archival research, the author uses oral history and her own experiences to invest the narrative with a great deal of potency...'A Geography of Blood' is a solid addition to the canon of Prairie literature." -- Quill and Quire "'A Geography of Blood: Unearthing Memory from a Prairie Landscape' should be required reading for Western Canadians. We need to understand our past in order to ensure a future that is in harmony with all the creatures who share this prairie home." -- EcoFriendly Sask