Harriet is 11 going on 30. Her mixed-media art is a source of wonder to her younger brother, Irwin, but an unmitigated horror to the panoply of insufficiently grown-up grown-ups who surround her. She plans to run away to Algonquin Park, hole up in a cabin like Tom Thomson and paint trees; and so, to fund her escape, she runs errands for the seniors who inhabit the Shangrila, the decrepit apartment building that houses her fractured family.
Determined, resourceful, and a little reckless, Harriet tries to navigate the clueless adults around her, dumpster dives for the flotsam and jetsam that fuels her art, and attempts to fathom her complicated feelings for Irwin, who suffers from hydrocephalus. On the other hand, Irwin’s love for Harriet is not conflicted at all. She’s his compass. But Irwin himself must untangle the web of the human heart.
Masterful and piercingly funny, Strube is at the top of her considerable form in this deliciously subversive story of love and revelation.
Cordelia Strube is an accomplished playwright and the author of nine critically acclaimed novels, including Teaching Pigs to Sing, Lemon, and On the Shores of Darkness, There Is Light. Winner of the CBC literary competition and a Toronto Arts Foundation Award, she has been nominated for the Governor General’s Award, the Trillium Book Award, the W.H. Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award, and the Prix Italia, and longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. A two-time finalist for ACTRA’s Nellie Award celebrating excellence in Canadian broadcasting, she is also a three-time nominee for the ReLit Award.