A Vintage Tales Book.
Graduating from high school in a small Canadian town, you are immediately faced with two stark choices: leave or stay. Country of Cold follows the stories of a disparate group of Dunsmuir, Manitoba’s class of 1980, most of whom leave, imagining that life happens elsewhere. They flee to the freedom of the big cities of the world and the far corners of Canada, but many end up feeling rootless and alone, whether as a physician in an Arctic Inuit community, a temporary boyfriend in Paris, or a student in the McGill Ghetto. The characters attempt to unravel the impossible puzzles of adulthood -- searching for answers by hurtling over falls in a barrel, building a boat to escape a teen-daughter-gone-bad, or embarking on an unlikely affair with a two-bit wrestler.
Kevin Patterson won international accolades for his wonderfully observed and moving memoir, The Water in Between. This fiction debut confirms him as a major new literary talent.
Kevin Patterson grew up in Manitoba, and put himself through medical school by enlisting in the Canadian army. When his service was up, he worked as a doctor in the Arctic and on the coast of British Columbia while studying for his MFA. He is the author of the bestselling The Water in Between. He resides on Salt Spring Island.
“[Patterson]…has made the leap to fiction with startling grace….Patterson manoeuvres his characters with a considerate, deft touch. These are lonely people trying to persuade themselves they aren't, and Patterson is respectful of their ordinary tragedies and sympathetic to their lush disenchantments.”
“A masterful debut short-story collection . . . . The stories are rich in event. . . but it’s in characterizations that Patterson shines, capturing shades of ambiguity, uncertainty and small happines with a deft touch.”
"Country of Cold is a terrific book. Kevin Patterson writes frequently about misfits and loners, but he presents them with such hard-edged clarity and insight that it’s impossible not to think of these people as kin. And whether it’s slapstick hilarity in a prairie Dairy Queen or the dead-serious menace of a winter storm north of the treeline, the writing is always pitch perfect."
—Michael Crummey, author of River Thieves