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edition:Paperback
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category: Fiction
published: June 2006
ISBN:9780771087288
imprint: Emblem Editions

A Map of Glass

by Jane Urquhart

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literary, historical
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $21
edition:Paperback
also available: Paperback
category: Fiction
published: June 2006
ISBN:9780771087288
imprint: Emblem Editions
Description

Jane Urquhart’s stunning new novel weaves two parallel stories, one set in contemporary Toronto and Prince Edward County, Ontario, the other in the nineteenth century on the northern shores of Lake Ontario.

Sylvia Bradley was rescued from her parents’ house by a doctor attracted to and challenged by her withdrawn ways. Their subsequent marriage has nourished her, but ultimately her husband’s care has formed a kind of prison. When she meets Andrew Woodman, a historical geographer, her world changes.

A year after Andrew’s death, Sylvia makes an unlikely connection with Jerome McNaughton, a young Toronto artist whose discovery of Andrew’s body on a small island at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River unlocks a secret in his own past. After Sylvia finds Jerome in Toronto, she shares with him the story of her unusual childhood and of her devastating and ecstatic affair with Andrew, a man whose life was irrevocably affected by the decisions of the past. At the breathtaking centre of the novel is the compelling tale of Andrew’s forebears. We meet his great-great-grandfather, Joseph Woodman, whose ambitions brought him from England to the northeastern shores of Lake Ontario, during the days of the flourishing timber and shipbuilding industries; Joseph’s practical, independent and isolated daughter, Annabel; and his son, Branwell, an innkeeper and a painter. It is Branwell’s eventual liaison with an orphaned French-Canadian woman that begins the family’s new generation and sets the stage for future events.

A novel about loss and the transitory nature of place, A Map of Glass is vivid with evocative prose and haunting imagery — a lake of light on a wooden table; a hotel gradually buried by sand; a fully clothed man frozen in an iceberg; a blind woman tracing her fingers over a tactile map. Containing all of the elements for which Jane Urquhart’s writing is celebrated, it stands as her richest, most accomplished novel to date.

From the Hardcover edition.

Contributor Notes

Jane Urquhart was born in Little Long Lac, Ontario, and grew up in Toronto. She is the author of five internationally acclaimed novels: The Whirlpool, which received Le prix du meilleur livre étranger (Best Foreign Book Award) in France; Changing Heaven; Away, winner of the Trillium Award and a finalist for the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; The Underpainter, winner of the Governor General’s Award and a finalist for the Rogers Communications Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize; The Stone Carvers, which was a finalist for The Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award, and longlisted for the Booker Prize; and A Map of Glass, a finalist for a regional Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book. She is also the author of a collection of short fiction, Storm Glass, and four books of poetry, I Am Walking in the Garden of His Imaginary Palace, False Shuffles, The Little Flowers of Madame de Montespan, and Some Other Garden). Her work has been translated into numerous foreign languages. Urquhart has received the Marian Engel Award, and is a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France and an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Urquhart has received numerous honorary doctorates from Canadian universities and has been writer-in-residence at the University of Ottawa and at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and, during the winter and spring of 1997, she held the Presidential Writer-in-Residence Fellowship at the University of Toronto. She has also given readings and lectures in Canada, Britain, Europe, the U.S.A., and Australia.

Jane Urquhart lives in southwestern Ontario.

From the Hardcover edition.

Awards
  • , Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book (Canada & Caribbean)
Editorial Review

“She has claimed an urgent place as one of our most interesting and accomplished writers. . . .”
Globe and Mail
“Urquhart transforms the energy of the world into enduring literature.”
Kitchener-Waterloo Record

“She is clearly a courageous stylist, with a unique vision.”
— Timothy Findley

“[Her] language is vivid enough to take your breath away.”
Boston Globe

"The most compelling depiction of the sense of place in human lives."
— Alice Munro

"Hypnotic... [an] elegant and meditative novel about love, relationships, and the meaning of home."
— People magazine

"Tender, romantic and surprising.... An epic of love and loss with an intrigung twist."
Sunday Times
"Urquhart has a great gift for the historical novel, for the melding of ideas, events and individuals into a significant whole.... Highly compelling and illuminating...."
— Claire Messud, Globe and Mail

From the Hardcover edition.

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