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Fiction Literary

Far Cry

by (author) Alissa York

Random House of Canada
Initial publish date
Feb 2023
Literary, Gay, Historical
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2023
    List Price

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In a novel as compelling as the forbidden love at its heart, Alissa York, one of Canada's most distinctive writers, evokes an era of unspoken desires in which pain and longing are braided together along treacherous lines.

It's 1922 at Far Cry Cannery, a quarter-mile of boardwalk and wooden buildings strung along the rocks of Rivers Inlet on the northwest coast of British Columbia. The time has come for Anders Viken, storekeeper and honorary uncle to the recently orphaned Kit, to give an account of his secret self—from his first home in Norway, another land of islands and fjords, to his escape from his family's loving grip, to his wide-open years of rough living and impossible love.

As the sockeye flood up the inlet, Anders sets his secrets down for 18-year-old Kit, the only member of his chosen family he has left after her mother, Bobbie, scandalized Far Cry by running off with the camp's handsome Chinese cook, and her father, Frank, was found drowned alongside his own boat. While Anders does his reckoning, Kit fends off the attentions of the cannery manager and tries to earn her keep. Oars in hand, she glides her skiff out over the great returning school and casts her net. This, at least, makes sense to her, as opposed to the convoluted workings of love.

About the author

Alissa York has lived all over Canada and now makes her home in Winnipeg with her husband, writer / filmmaker / publisher Clive Holden. In 1999 her short fiction won the Journey Prize and the Bronwen Wallace Award. Later that year Arbeiter Ring published Alissa's first collection of stories, Any Given Power, which won the Mary Scorer Award for the Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher, and was short-listed for the Danuta Gleed Award. Film rights to three connected stories from the collection have been optioned by Buffalo Gal Pictures. In 2001, Alissa won the John Hirsch Award for the Most Promising Manitoba Writer. Her novel Effigy was nominated in 2007 for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Alissa York's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Far Cry is a brilliant, hypnotic work—a collision of invisible, unforgettable lives. It asks what we owe to duty, to family and to love, and gives us the language, and the heart, to bear the beautiful complexity of the answers." —Madeleine Thien, Scotiabank Giller Award-winning author of Do Not Say We Have Nothing

"Rich and strange—Alissa York’s story of the west coast is so embodied, real, visceral, you can smell the canneries, feel the strangeness of basking sharks the length of a bus, of salmon whacking the hull of a gillnetter in their shocking plenty. Far Cry rests inside its world with authority and magic, shedding light on what the real and secret lives of women and men must have contained: the confusion, the love, the quicksand of attraction, the poverty and mayhem. The sea.” —Shaena Lambert, author of Petra and Oh, My Darling

"There is a vivid rush of sea air and immediately you are immersed in this finely crafted historical novel, gripped by its world and characters until you reach the powerful, tragic conclusion. This book will stay with me for a long time." —Adam Foulds, author of The Quickening Maze and Dream Sequence

Far Cry is a mystery that only reveals the whole, shocking truth in the final pages, where the pieces come together with an almost audible snap.” —Gil Adamson, author of The Outlander and Ridgerunner

“Beautiful and deeply moving, Alissa York's Far Cry immerses its readers in the tumultuous early years of Canada's west coast fisheries, chronicling with meticulous care a world now lost. This is a devastating, fiercely intelligent novel about love, desire, and loss and the secrets that bind them.” —Steven Price, author of By Gaslight and Lampedusa

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