Miriam Toews' books resonate with a distinct and identifiable authorial voice. Her seventh novel, All My Puny Sorrows, will be released this week and promises the same inimitable pleasures.

Here, Miriam gives a clue to her take on great writing by honouring a fellow writer and Manitoban -- musician and poet (and one of our 2013 Page Turner Champions), John K. Samson. "The best lines are always deeply rooted in a place," says Miriam in her tribute, below.

Join Miriam as a Page Turner and you'll help Project Bookmark Canada grow a network of lines and places, sites and stories across Canada, and through Winnipeg, too. Donate today, and you could even win a copy of Miriam's new book.

 

Longitudinal Centre

 

This spring made winter an insulting opening offer, now

the passing lane is getting harder to negotiate, thawing

out and icing up again. Past the Mint, where a circle of

provincial flags are flagging in the front yard, tired of

trying to make us think that it hasn't always been so

hard. The sky looks seasick on the boxcar sway, where the

Atlantic and Pacific are the very same far away.

 

The sun pulls me out a bit and lets me go, I'm a vacuum

power cord in the back of that van full of kids cleaning 

carpets for the Lord, so I make a little list of sounds I've

found have comforted me in the past: the roar of the

rumble strips, and the Mennonite metre of the flood-

forecast, or how the wind strums on those signs that say

the Atlantic and Pacific are the very same far away.

 

Steer this boat around the snowplow spray while the 

Atlantic and Pacific are the very same far away.  

 

- John K. Samson

 

I come from the heart of the country, the very longitudinal centre of Canada, but I don't live there anymore. When I hear or read the brilliant poetry and lyrics of John K. Samson I'm catapulted back to Winnipeg and I don't ever want to leave. 

That’s just one reason I’m a big supporter of Project Bookmark Canada. The best lines are always deeply rooted in a place. I encourage you to pitch in and become a Page Turner yourself, and if you donate your $20 today, you’ll be entered to win a book by me! Thanks very much!

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