In her vibrant first novel, Sisters of Grass, Theresa Kishkan weaves a tapestry of the senses through the touchstones of a young woman's life. Anna is preparing an exhibit of textiles reflecting life in central British Columbia a century ago. In a forgotten corner of a museum, she discovers a dusty cardboard box containing the century-old personal effects of a Nicola valley woman. Fascinated by the artifacts, she reconstructs the story of their owner, Margaret Stuart. Margaret, the daughter of a Native mother and a Scottish-American father, she tries to fit into both worlds. She's taught photography by a visiting Columbia University anthropology student that she falls in love with.
With strong, poetic language, Kishkan makes the past reverberate through the present in a richly patterned work celebrating the complexities and joys of life and the sustaining connections of family.
Theresa Kishkan is the author of eleven books of poetry and prose. Her essays have appeared in Memewar, Dandelion, Lake, Contrary, The New Quarterly, Cerise, and many other magazines and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, the Relit Award, the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and the Hubert Evans Prize for Non-Fiction. Her collection of essays, Phantom Limb, won the first Readers' Choice Award from the Canadian Creative Non-Fiction Collective in 2009. An essay from Mnemonic won the 2010 Edna Staebler Personal Essay Prize.
"Each page is suffused with the fragrance and visual delights of the west . .. a natural, lyrical exploration of the senses, with the author's poetic roots evident in every passage. "
"The archival impetus and historical details of Kishkan's first full-length fiction are appealing . .. she can write beautifully about objects and places. "
"Nature is an exotic ingredient in this delightful imagined account of a young girl's awakening to womanhood a hundred years ago. Theresa Kishkan's prose is lyrical and exquisite. A book to treasure. "
— Edith Iglauer
"A novel of change and reconciliation, of the confluence of many worlds . .. a tremendous accomplishment. . .. An astonishing debut . .. Sisters of Grass is beautifully understated with a quiet grace that succeeds in transforming the regional to the universal, filling the reader with a sense of the mysteries of the world and humanity that can never fully be resolved. "
"Margaret's life begins to unfold for us — a life steeped in hard work and earthly beauty and gathering toward a promising future . .. her story building at last to a strong and unsentimental climax . .. Ends with a bittersweet narrative punch. "
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