DUKE, Sara Tilley's second novel, is inspired by the letters and diaries of her great-grandfather, William Marmaduke Tilly, who left Newfoundland in 1905 to try to earn enough money to get his father's business out of debt. Duke works his way across the United States, up to Vancouver, along the Yukon River and finally to Alaska, where he spends eight years in the interior toiling as a logger. When Duke returns home, his father turns inexplicably cold, locking Duke and his wife and newborn child out of the house in the dead of winter and banishing him from the community. A story of family obligation, repression and passion, ill health and ill luck, DUKE builds on the real Duke Tilly's ways of expressing himself to uncover a surprisingly contemporary fictional voice with large doses of humour, beauty and keen observation.
About the authors
Sara Tilley is a writer, theatre artist and clown who lives and works in her home town of St. John's, Newfoundland. Her artistic work bridges writing, theatre, and Pochinko Clown Through Mask technique, with each discipline informing and inspiring the others. After graduating with a BFA in Acting from York University, Sara founded a feminist theatre company, She Said Yes!, in 2002, and received the Rhonda Payne Theatre Award in 2006, which acknowledges the contribution of a woman working in theatre in Newfoundland and Labrador. || Her writing spans the genres of playwriting, prose and poetry. She has written, co-written or co-created over ten plays to date, all of which have received professional production. Skin Room, her first novel (Pedlar Press, 2008), won both the Newfoundland and Labrador Percy Janes First Novel Award and the inaugural Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers, and was shortlisted for the Winterset Award and the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize. Sara won the Lawrence Jackson Writer's Award from the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council in 2011. || In 2008 Sara was awarded a Canada Council for the Arts Professional Development grant to travel to Vancouver for six months to mentor with Pochinko Clown Through Mask co-founder, Ian Wallace. This experience allowed Sara to begin teaching this unique theatre form, making her one of a handful of Pochinko instructors in the world. She regularly offers Clown through Mask and Neutral Mask training, and is also a freelance vocal and movement coach for actors. || Her new novel, Duke (Pedlar Press, 2015), found its inspiration through mask work.
Beth Follett is the founder and publisher of Pedlar Press, a Canadian literary house. Her first novel, Tell it Slant (Coach House Books, 2001), a retelling of Djuna Barnes’s 1936 novel Nightwood, met with critical acclaim. Her poetry, prose and nonfiction work have appeared in Brick, Best Canadian Poetry 2019, and elsewhere. She lives in St John’s, NL.