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Biography & Autobiography Cultural Heritage

Every Little Scrap and Wonder

A Small-Town Childhood

by (author) Carla Funk

Greystone Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Oct 2019
Cultural Heritage, Mennonite, Women
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2019
    List Price

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From an award-winning essayist and acclaimed poet comes this radiant, observant, and warmly funny memoir about childhood, family, and small-town life.

Carla Funk grew up in a place of logging trucks and God, pellet guns and parables. Every Sunday, she sat with her mother and brother in the same pew at the Mennonite church while her dad stayed home with his cigarettes and a fridge full of whiskey. In these tender, humorous stories, Funk stitches together the wondrous and the mundane: making snow angels and carrying sacks of potatoes, tossing pig bladders like footballs, and vying for the Christmas pageant spotlight.

Part ode to childhood, part love letter to rural life, Every Little Scrap and Wonder offers an original take on the memories, stories, and traditions we all carry within ourselves, whether we planned to or not.

About the author

Carla Funk was born and raised in Vanderhoof, the geographical centre of B.C. and one of the earliest Mennonite settlements in the province. Having grown up in a world of logging trucks, storytellers, ladies' sewing circles, and rural realism, she turned to poetry as a place to set down the images of her upbringing.

Since earning degrees in Writing and English Literature at the University of Victoria, her work has been featured in anthologies including Breathing Fire: Canada's Young Poets (Harbour, 1995), in various literary journals, and as part of the Poetry in Transit series. Her books of poetry include Blessing the Bones into Light (Coteau Books, 1999), Head Full of Sun (Nightwood Editions, 2002), The Sewing Room (Turnstone Press, 2006), and most recently, apologetic (Turnstone Press, 2010).

She lives with her husband and daughter in Victoria, where she served as the City's inaugural poet laureate from 2006-2008. She teaches in the University of Victoria's Department of Writing.

Carla Funk's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“It’s not surprising that Funk is the author of five books of poetry. This same grace and agility with words continues in her marvellous memoir.”

“Carla Funk is one of the finest poets of her generation. She’s becoming one of the finest nonfiction writers too. It doesn’t surprise me because the strengths of her poetry are evident in the prose: the force of her imagery, the colourful characters, an insider’s knowledge of northern rural Canada, and her story-telling skills. Reading her nonfiction reminds me of reading Alistair MacLeod. There’s the same deep understanding of a place and the same tough sweetness.”
—Lorna Crozier, Governor General's Award-winning poet and author of Small Beneath the Sky

“Wonderfully written and very evocative ... Carla Funk’s memories of her girlhood in the interior of BC reminded me of my own small-town, church- and logging-focused, bush boyhood in Ontario, and I was charmed by her childlike inclination to question everything, including existence.”
—Roy MacGregor, author of Canoe Country

“With gentle irony, Funk unfolds her child’s longing—‘straining to become a star’—in a place both gritty and unyielding, where scars and songs are one and the same. A lovely stitchery of childhood.”
—Beth Powning, author of The Sea Captain’s Wife

“A delightful read—vivid, hilarious, enormously entertaining. Carla Funk makes excellent use of a poet’s cognizance to evoke her Mennonite childhood in lively and irresistible prose.”
—Andreas Schroeder, author of Renovating Heaven

“There is a propulsive, muscular musicality and discipline to every line as she gathers up the scraps and wonders of childhood memory and transforms them into some of the most lovely prose on offer in this season’s selection of memoirs.”
Vancouver Sun

“Variously warm, funny and heartfelt.”
—Toronto Star

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