This early non-fiction work by critically acclaimed novelist Elizabeth Hay displays the qualities that have resonated with readers — the pitch-perfect register of human psychology, the clear, unsentimental yet intimate sentences — in her bestselling novels A Student of Weather, Garbo Laughs, Late Nights on Air, and Alone in the Classroom. Captivity Tales, stories of settlers kidnapped by Indians, are turned on their head in this book about captivity in the city. Stranded in New York with her family, Elizabeth Hay searches for company and finds it in the lives of other Canadians who have come to New York: Inuit visitors in the 19th century, artists like Michael Snow, Joyce Wieland, Glenn Gould and Teresa Stratas. In searching out their stories, she finds a new map, an underworld of memory and connection, which offers a way home. A fresh, engaging exploration of Canadian cultural identity, Captivity Tales evokes the desperate need to find yourself by losing yourself, and to return home by escaping from it.
About the author
A former CBC Radio host, interviewer and documentary maker in Winnipeg, Yellowknife and Toronto, Elizabeth Hay spent eight years in New York where a profound longing for home propelled her to write Captivity Tales. In a poetic blend of personal narrative, biography, history and literary fiction, she tells the stories of other Canadians who came to New York and their experiences away from home. She is the author of three other books: The Only Snow in Havana, Crossing the Snow Lines, and Small Change. She lives in Ottawa.