First Fiction Fridays: The Western Home by Catherine Cooper

July 11, 2014

The Western Home tells imagined stories behind the story of "Home on the Range," one of North America's most beloved folksongs and one I learned to sing by heart by the time I was four years old. I first read one of the story's in Cooper's collection, entitled "Nuclear Heartland," in Brick magazine, and was so taken with it that I did something I have never before done in the eighteen-year history of Pedlar Press: I solicited work from an author.

See more details below

FFF_Header_Updated

 

WesternHome

What:

The Western Home: Stories for Home on the Range (Pedlar Press, 2014)

Who:

Catherine Cooper's fiction was published most recently in Brick magazine, and her non-fiction in Guernica magazine. Her first novel, White Elephant, is forthcoming. She lives in Prague, Czech Republic. The Western Home is her first book.

Why you need to read this now:

The Western Home tells imagined stories behind the story of "Home on the Range," one of North America’s most beloved folksongs and one I learned to sing by heart by the time I was four years old. I first read one of the story's in Cooper's collection, entitled "Nuclear Heartland," in Brick magazine, and was so taken with it that I did something I have never before done in the eighteen-year history of Pedlar Press: I solicited work from an author. Her stories are dark, invested with a gravitas befitting classic tales we tell ourselves about notions of home and security.

Can you name another collection of literary short fiction that investigates the making of one famous song, a collection that wanders wide and freely across generations? I can't. Cooper's work, as her mentor Terence Byrnes has said, is a tour de force, each piece of the song's history moved into imaginative telling with great skill.

As Brett Josef Grubisic has it, "These moody, atmospheric stories are delectable, if richly dark and shadowy (as in 1940s Hollywood: think Double Indemnity or The Postman Always Rings Twice). They’d nestle comfortably on a shelf of literary depictions of the West and hardscrabble rural existence laden with American heavyweights like Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology, Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, and Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian (not to mention works by Guy Vanderhaeghe, early Alice Munro and Sinclair Ross)."

An excellent debut.    

—Beth Follett, publisher of Pedlar Press

*****
Thank you to Beth for giving us some insight into Cooper’s first collection of stories. The Western Home is launching tonight, July 11th, in Halifax at the Humani-T Café at 6:30 pm. Cooper will also be reading at the Confederation Centre Public Library On July 26th at 2 pm in Charlottetown.

 


Discuss


comments powered by Disqus