Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Fiction Westerns


by (author) Guy Vanderhaeghe

McClelland & Stewart
Initial publish date
Apr 1999
Westerns, Literary, Small Town & Rural
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 1999
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


It is the summer of 1959, and in a prairie town in Saskatchewan, Alec Monkman waits for his estranged daughter to come home, with the grandson he has never seen. But this is an uneasy reunion. Fiercely independent, Vera has been on her own since running away at nineteen – first to the army, and then to Toronto. Now, for the sake of her young son, she must swallow her pride and return home after seventeen years. As the story gradually unfolds, the past confronts the present in unexpected ways as the silence surrounding Vera’s brother is finally shattered and the truth behind Vera’s long absence revealed. With its tenderness, humour, and vivid evocation of character and place, Homesick confirms Guy Vanderhaeghe’s reputation as one of Canada’s most engaging and accomplished storytellers.

About the author

Guy Vanderhaeghe was born in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan in 1951. He is the author of six books of fiction. His first two books were collections of short stories: Man Descending (1982), which won the Governor’s General’s Award, and the Faber Prize in the U.K., and The Trouble With Heroes (1983). My Present Age, a novel, was published in 1984 and was followed by Homesick in 1989. That novel was a co-winner of the City of Toronto Book Award. His third book of short stories was the highly praised Things As They Are? (1992). The Englishman’s Boy (1996) was a long-time national bestseller and won the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction and for Best Book of the Year, and was short-listed for The Giller Prize, and the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the world’s largest monetary award for a single book. Acclaimed for his fiction, Vanderhaeghe has also written plays. I Had a Job I Liked. Once. was first produced in 1991, and won the Canadian Authors Association Award for Drama. His second play, Dancock’s Dance, was produced in 1995. He is currently completing a screenplay for The Englishman’s Boy. Guy lives in Saskatoon, where he is a Visiting Professor of English at S.T.M. College. His most recent book, The Last Crossing, has been short-listed for a total of three Saskatchewan Book Awards: Best Book of the Year, Fiction Book of the Year, and the Saskatoon Book Award.

Guy Vanderhaeghe's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Homesick is one of those books you don’t want to put down and one that haunts you long after you have. . . . It is not just good, it is wise and compassionate.…”
Edmonton Journal
“Vanderhaeghe has the uncanny ability to bring characters to life with searing fidelity.…Homesick is a powerful and moving novel.”
Globe and Mail
“It is a fine, rare accomplishment.”
Books in Canada
“He skillfully interweaves the lives of one of the most contrary families in literature, placing them right up there with Faulkner’s Snopse family for eccentricity and misplaced pride.…”
Halifax Chronicle Herald

“One has only to read the first page of Guy Vanderhaeghe’s Homesick to see why his books have garnered him international awards and the reputation as one of Canada’s most promising young writers.…Vanderhaeghe’s lush, highly readable prose brings the setting and the characters to vivid, sparkling life. They could be our neighbours – they could be us. This is the story of any family that has ever let pride and stubbornness stand in the way of a fulfilling relationship.”
Regina Leader-Post
“If great art is that which holds a mirror up to nature, as was once said, then Homesick is great art.”
Daily News (Halifax)

“[Vanderhaeghe’s characters] lift themselves by pride and love from the ordinariness of their world.”
Ottawa Citizen

“Vanderhaeghe has an unerring eye for the prairie landscape and a shrewd ear for the ironies of small-town conversation.…He balances his dramatization of the cycle of life with exuberant storytelling.…”
London Free Press

“Beautifully written…Vanderhaeghe writes in a spare, poetic prose that is deceptively simple. He used his medium very effectively to capture both the icy harshness and the warmth of family life.…Homesick is an unexpectedly powerful work.…His extraordinary talents deserve wide recognition.”
Kingston Whig-Standard

“His stories and novels are character studies par excellence.…”
–Andreas Schroeder

“Guy Vanderhaeghe writes about what he knows best: people, their sense of mortality, their difficulty in being good during a difficult time.…The dialogue and the characters are eclectic and real.”
Vancouver Sun
Homesick is a compelling yarn about the intensity of family feelings and relationships and how all too often it’s what isn’t, rather than what is said that counts the most.”
Star-Phoenix (Saskatoon)

Other titles by