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Fiction Historical

Swedes' Ferry

by (author) Allan Safarik

Coteau Books
Initial publish date
Sep 2013
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2013
    List Price

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Continuing its tradition of publishing first novels by established poets, Coteau presents the story of Constable Leslie Simpson, a Manitoba member of the North-West Mounted Police, who takes a day off to make a quick buck south of the border, and winds up battling to stave off the intentions of not only a very nasty Pinkerton agent, but the third-richest man in the United States. When Simpson robs the First National Bank in Bismark, North Dakota, inadvertently killing the bank manager in the process, the chase is on, across much of the Canadian prairies and the northern American plains.The bank happens to be owned by Canadian James J. Hill, the real-life millionaire later to be the model for Fitzgerald's famous character The Great Gatsby. Hill crisscrosses the plains on his recently-completed Great Northern Railroad, with his opera singer and dominatrix travelling companions. He's used to getting what he wants and keeping what he has. So when he loses his Great Northern payroll in Bismark, what he most wants is for the vicious William Pinkerton and his sleazy henchman Jiggs Dubois to bring him the head of the varmint that took it. This is fascinating historical fiction, full of detailed information about the prairie border country, the people, the horses, and the weaponry, as well as the customs and cultural peccadilloes of the day of neigh- bouring nations that are developing in very different ways.

About the author

Allan Safarik was born in Vancouver and raised in a commercial fishing family on Vancouver Heights in North Burnaby where he spent much of his childhood exploring the waterfront when he wasn't playing soccer in East End parks. He is the author of fourteen books of poetry, is an editor and was a co-founder of Blackfish Press in British Columbia. In 1986, he edited the award winning anthology Vancouver Poetry. Safarik, a long time resident of White Rock, BC, currently resides in Dundurn, Saskatchewan and teaches Imaginative Writing at St. Peter's College in Muenster. Safarik won the 2003 John V. Hicks Manuscript Award for Literary Non-Fiction and the Saskatchewan Book Award for Poetry (in the name of Anne Szumigalski) for When Light Falls from the Sun Hagios Press. He has a B.A. in English from Simon Fraser University. His recent books include Yellowgrass (Hagios, 2008) and The Day is a Cold Grey Stone (Hagios 2010).

Allan Safarik's profile page

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