At the dawn of the twentieth century a disparate group of travellers are thrown together in the Caucasus Mountains, fabled land of Argonauts, Amazons, and Cossacks. Henry Norman, a British Member of Parliament and author, teams up with Canadian radio pioneer and amateur archaeologist Reginald Fessenden and Katherine Waddell, the lover of Fessenden's dead friend, Ottawa poet Archibald Lampman.
Each has a question. Fessenden seeks physical confirmation of the Garden of Eden, Atlantis, and the Great Flood. Norman, ever the detached observer, is after material for a new book but gets more than he bargained for. Waddell pursues some elusive realm where she can find solace for her grief over Lampman and perhaps, like Fessenden, a glimpse of Paradise. Along for the carriage ride through the remote Caucasus is Pushkin-loving Sergei, a rowdy, irreverent Georgian guide and interpreter.
There are many views from Mount Tamischeira, legendary spot from which the Deluge of Deluges was first witnessed, but for this band of latter-day Argonauts, peering into one's heart may be the most challenging prospect.close this panel
Richard Cumyn was born in Ottawa and has degrees in English and education from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. He is the fiction editor for The Antigonish Review and has published four collections of short fiction: The Limit of Delta Y over Delta X (Goose Lane), I Am Not Most Places (Beach Holme), Viking Brides (Oberon), and The Obstacle Course (Oberon). Viking Brides was shortlisted for a ReLit Award in 2002. Cumyn's short stories have appeared in many Canadian literary publications, including The Journey Prize Anthology He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.close this panel