Travellers May Still Return

By (author): Michael Kenyon

Jesse Green, the young narrator of the first novella, wants to escape the developed world (Vancouver) and with her boyfriend takes a meandering trip down to Panama, the land bridge to South America. The central short story has an ambiguous setting and period, and is about the loss of a child. Charles Darwin, hero of the closing novella, whose historical namesake found his life work’s inspiration in South America, finds his inspiration in studying village life. The collection takes its visual form (novella-story-novella) from the shape of the Americas, North and South, and its psychological trajectory is from the present “daylight” world to the collective unconscious or archetypal. Carl Jung looms in the background and a fictionalized Charles Darwin dominates proceedings.

The collection’s obsessions are Darwinian diversity read into human inner life; what happens when diversity is lost to homogeneity? That is, what happens when we do not accept parts of ourselves; what happens when genre and classification engulf “freedom” and spirit. New storytelling requires diversity within mind underwritten by the implicit paradoxes of the unconscious. These characters’ journeys are as much into the psyche as into the world. Kenyon’s people often find outer form in their lives through inner exploration and vice versa. This book is full of expressions of escape and commitment, knowledge and acts, introversion and extroversion, feminine and masculine.


Michael Kenyon

Michael Kenyon is the author of four books of poetry, seven of fiction, and four chapbooks. The Beautiful Children won the 2010 ReLit Award for best novel. Other work has been shortlisted for the ReLit Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the SmithBooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Baxter Hathaway Prize (Cornell) in fiction, The Malahat Review Novella Prize, Prism international’s fiction contest (won twice), the Journey Prize, and the National and Western Magazine Awards. His work is concerned with form and style, but always strives to get in touch with the deepest human moments. Kenyon lives in Victoria, BC.


  • ReLit Award 2010, Winner
  • Excerpts & Samples ×

    “I wonder what life will be like, every day made of prayers, worship. Prayer. It’s like listening hard for something you’ve never heard before or like working your whole life in silence trying to figure out whether beauty comes from outside or inside.”

    “This stone contains the village’s fortune, if only I could read it. Before tragedy, before I began to know where I could and could not go, I held onto this stone. The stone is cold, even on a summer’s day, until I curl my fingers around it and it warms in my hand, a single thought with red veins.”

    “What we do without children is artifice; what we do without art is natural. That time won’t bend around me indefinitely, that the civilizing cocoon will not last till morning, that meaning will only help me through daylight hours and when night comes will swallow its subjects – means I can’t sleep.”

    “Adventure is an interruption of habit, and those who stay expect news from those returning. But they only tell what we can’t hear – and to kill time we tame the old epics.”

    Reader Reviews



    8.5in * 5.5in * .8in


    September 15, 2019


    Thistledown Press



    Book Subjects:

    FICTION / Visionary & Metaphysical

    Featured In:

    All Books



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