400 pages, 8.2 × 5.9 × 1.04 in
May 29, 2012
McClelland & Stewart
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0771087845
ISBN - 13: 9780771087844
From the Publisher
Set in the second half of the nineteenth century, in the American and Canadian West and in Victorian England, The Last Crossing is a sweeping tale of interwoven lives and stories
Charles and Addington Gaunt must find their brother Simon, who has gone missing in the wilds of the American West. Charles, a disillusioned artist, and Addington, a disgraced military captain, enlist the services of a guide to lead them on their journey across a difficult and unknown landscape. This is the enigmatic Jerry Potts, half Blackfoot, half Scottish, who suffers his own painful past. The party grows to include Caleb Ayto, a sycophantic American journalist, and Lucy Stoveall, a wise and beautiful woman who travels in the hope of avenging her sister’s vicious murder. Later, the group is joined by Custis Straw, a Civil War veteran searching for salvation, and Custis’s friend and protector Aloysius Dooley, a saloon-keeper. This unlikely posse becomes entangled in an unfolding drama that forces each person to come to terms with his own demons.
The Last Crossing contains many haunting scenes – among them, a bear hunt at dawn, the meeting of a Métis caravan, the discovery of an Indian village decimated by smallpox, a sharpshooter’s devastating annihilation of his prey, a young boy’s last memory of his mother. Vanderhaeghe links the hallowed colleges of Oxford and the pleasure houses of London to the treacherous Montana plains; and the rough trading posts of the Canadian wilderness to the heart of Indian folklore. At the novel’s centre is an unusual and moving love story.
The Last Crossing is Guy Vanderhaeghe’s most powerful novel to date. It is a novel of harshness and redemption, an epic masterpiece, rich with unforgettable characters and vividly described events, that solidifies his place as one of Canada’s premier storytellers.
About the Author
GUY VANDERHAEGHE was born in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan, in 1951. His previous fiction includes The Last Crossing, The Englishman's Boy, Things as they Are (stories), Homesick, My Present Age, The Trouble With Heroes, Man Descending (stories). Among the many awards he has received are the Governor General's Awards (twice), The Pierre Elliot Trudeau Prize, the Writers' Trust Timothy Findley Award, and the Harbourfront Literary Prize, all for a body of work. He has received many honours including the Order of Canada.
“Rarely are today’s hungry readers invited to such a feast of a book.…Here are brilliant writing, picaresque adventure, plot twists, history and studies of human nature. . . . There are few writers who can encapsulate a character in a single sentence, turn a phrase or manipulate a metaphor as brilliantly as Vanderhaeghe.…The Last Crossing deserves honours and the widest readership. Guy Vanderhaeghe, one of North America’s best writers, is at the top of his form.”–Annie Proulx, Globe and Mail“The Last Crossing is both a Canadian classic and a rousing adventure.…A tremendous achievement of imagination, capturing the West in all its grandeur. With its intricate layering of stories, constant surprises, unforgettable scenes and characters and dramatic landscape, Vanderhaeghe’s saga is certain to resonate with readers long after they’ve finished the book.”–Calgary Herald“A tour de force. Wonderfully written, suspenseful and totally absorbing, this novel must be [Vanderhaeghe’s] most powerful to date. . . . Many voices take up Vanderhaeghe’s twisting tale and its criss-cross pattern is skillfully woven into a chronicle of singular style and impressive power. This book is a remarkable achievement, a page-turner not only of epic proportions but of exceptional literary merit.…A book impossible to set aside.”–London Free Press“The Last Crossing is truly Vanderhaeghe’s masterpiece.…The variety of voices, settings and action evokes an almost inebriated response from the reader whose imagi