Grieving the diminishment and death of his elderly mother, John Terpstra finds solace in a seemingly unusual place: the stories (both historical and fanciful) of the nineteenth-century houses in his Hamilton neighbourhood and of the families which have inhabited them. With a well-honed knack for the circuitous route, Terpstra tackles weighty questions like ‘Why must we die?’ by following his imaginative curiosity into the bricks-and-mortar matters of our daily lives, understanding that the dwellings we construct do more than just shed the weather, but are also physical manifestations of our notions of ‘family’ and ‘home’.
Since the early 1980s, John Terpstra has been a mainstay of the Canadian literary scene, publishing both poetry and non-fiction. He has also been a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Charles Taylor Prize. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where he works as a writer, cabinetmaker and carpenter.
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