Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Drowned Lands

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The Drowned Lands

Pedlar Press, 2008

Once, a few generations ago, the village of Bellrock was real. Stan Dragland has rediscovered its soul amidst artifacts of gossip and lore, historical documents, private papers, and imagination fired by a twist of speech, an echoing name, a facial tic or family trait. One of the seasonal residents, Michael Ondaatje, gave it a limited past in The Skin of a Lion; another, Matt Cohen, circled the village, giving us some of the best regional fiction this country has known. Joan Finnegan Mackenzie lived close by, but the immediate area was subsumed by her larger vision of the region. I published a memoir called Bellrock, but, as memoirs often do, it struggled to define the author, at the expense of the world. And that left Stan Dragland to give the past of Bellrock presence, to make it as real as only fiction can be.