Sister Language is a collaboration, composed mainly of letters and other writings, between two sisters, one of whom, Christina, is schizophrenic. In the careful building of a bridge between sisters, a prose nonpareil is achieved, and a linguistic "bridge" created between readers and the authors, one of whom's deep isolation is in this way diminished.
"A playful duet, a radiant howl, a swirling portrait of schizophrenia and sisterhood--this beautiful, wildly-groomed book magnifies two brilliant minds in motion. It is a story of what happens when 'everyday' language mutinies and shatters, leaving a fragile chimera of coherence. But mostly it's a tale of unshakable, vulnerable, writerly love that brought me to tears." - Kyo Maclear, author of Birds Art Life
Christina Baillie is a schizophrenic writer and artist, living in Toronto.
Martha Baillie's most recent novel, The Search for Heinrich SchlÃ¶gel (Tin House), received wide acclaim and was an O Magazine editors' pick. She lives in Toronto.
Stan Dragland was born and brought up in Alberta. He was educated at The University of Alberta and Queen's University. He has taught at the University of Alberta, at The Grammar School, Sudbury, Suffolk, England, in the English Department at the University of Western Ontario in London, and in the Banff Centre Writing Studio. He now lives in St. John's, Newfoundland. He was founding editor of Brick, a journal of reviews and founder of Brick Books, a poetry publishing house, which he still serves as publisher and editor. Between 1993 and 1996 he was poetry editor for McClelland and Stewart. He has published three previous books of fiction: Peckertracks, a Chronicle (shortlisted for the 1978 Books in Canada First Novel Prize), Journeys Through Bookland and Other Passages, and (for children) Simon Jesse's Journey. He has edited collections of essays on Duncan Campbell Scott and James Reaney. Wilson MacDonald's Western Tour, a 'critical collage,' has been followed by two other books of criticism, The Bees of the Invisible: Essays in Contemporary English Canadian Writing and Floating Voice: Duncan Campbell Scott and the Literature of Treaty 9, which won the 1995 Gabrielle Roy Prize for Canadian Literary Criticism. 12 Bars, a prose blues, was co-winner of the bp Nichol Chapbook Award in 2003, the same year Apocrypha: Further Journeys appeared in NeWest Press's Writer-as-Critic series. Apocrypha was winner of the Rogers Cable Non-Fiction Award in 2005. In April 2004 the stage adaptation of HalldÛr Laxness's The Atom Station, co-written with Agnes Walsh, was performed at the LSPU Hall in St. John's. His most recent book is Stormy Weather: Foursomes, prose poetry from Pedlar Press, was shortlisted for the EJ Pratt Poetry Award in 2007. He is editor of the recently-released Hard-Headed and Big-Hearted: Writing Newfoundland, a collection of essays by Newfoundland historian Stuart Pierson.
I turn the key and push. The door begins to swing but bangs against its chain -- a barrier she's fashioned from a leash. This means she's home. Mouth to slit: "Sister, hello, sister." From some room she comes. The chain unfastened, I step inside -- admitted. Begin by admitting. A good beginning, but how much either party will admit (or admit to) is never a known factor. I've brought a desire. We begin, she and I; we've begun before, and often. It so happens, this day, our desires agree: to discuss language -- the many ways it rescues and fails her.
Praise for The Search For Heinrich Schlögel:The Literary Review of Canada: Revealing, puzzling, dazzling, The Search For Heinrich Schlögel resists reduction, rewards rereading.
Martha Baillie listed as one of nine great Canadian contemporary writers, for The Search For Heinrich Schlögel.
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