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Fiction Literary


by (author) Catherine Graham

Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd
Initial publish date
Jun 2017
Literary, Contemporary Women, Historical
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2017
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jun 2017
    List Price

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Set in southern Ontario during the 1980s, acclaimed poet Catherine Graham's debut novel is as layered as the open-pit mine for which it is named. Only child Caitlin Maharg lives with her parents beside a water-filled limestone quarry, but her idyllic upbringing collapses when she learns her mother is dying. After a series of family secrets emerges, she must confront the past and face her uncertain future. Lyrically charged, jewelled with images, and at times darkly comic, Graham's prose weaves a mysterious, hypnotic tale of loss, deception, and the courage to swim the depths of life alone.

About the author

Catherine Graham is a poet, novelist and creative writing instructor. She is the author of six acclaimed poetry collections, including The Celery Forest, a CBC Best Book of the Year and finalist for the Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry. Her Red Hair Rises with the Wings of Insects was a finalist for the Raymond Souster Award and CAA Poetry Award and her debut novel, Quarry, was a finalist for the Sarton Women’s Book Award for Contemporary Fiction and Fred Kerner Book Award and won the Miramichi Reader’s “The Very Best!” Book Award and an Independent Publisher Book Awards’ gold medal for Fiction. She holds an MA in creative writing from Lancaster University (UK). Her poems have been translated into Greek, Serbo-Croatian, Bangla, Chinese and Spanish and have appeared in The Malahat Review, Arc Poetry Magazine, Glasgow Review of Books, Exile Quarterly, The Fiddlehead, Poetry Daily, Poetry Ireland, Gutter Magazine and have been broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster, anthologized in The White Page / An Bhileag Bhan: Twentieth Century Irish Women Poets and The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, Vol IV & V. A finalist for the Montreal International Poetry Prize, she has won the Arc Award of Awesomeness and her poems have been nominated for the 2020 National Magazine Award by Exile Magazine. She teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto where she won an Excellence in Teaching Award. A previous winner of the Toronto International Festival of Authors’ Poetry NOW, she leads their monthly book club and is also an interviewer for By the Lake Book Club.


Catherine Graham's profile page


  • Winner, Miramichi Reader “The Very Best!” Book Award for Fiction
  • Short-listed, Sarton Women’s Book Award for Contemporary Fiction
  • Short-listed, Fred Kerner Book Award Winner

Editorial Reviews

"Quarry is a drop-dead gorgeous piece of writing, a novel that gave me goose bumps, even on a second reading. Search it out and read it; gentle, tough, and a superb work of fiction."

The Sun Times (Owen Sound)

“An accomplished poet, Graham makes her fiction debut with the luminous Quarry, a delicate coming-of-age story with an engaging protagonist. [Her] lyrical writing shines through … spinning beautiful contemplative images out of simple moments. With Quarry, she has mined her personal experience of loss to produce a strong debut novel—mysterious, rich, and full of quiet insights about family dynamics.”

Room Magazine

"[Graham] draws us deep into a world that is both ordinary and haunted – a world infused with mysterious rifts in the rhythms of life and thick with signs of encroaching death."

Toronto Star

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