- Oolichan Books
- Initial publish date
- Mar 2011
Paperback / softback
- Publish Date
- Mar 2011
- List Price
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In 1959 Ray and Daisy Cook and their five children were brutally slain in their modest home in the central Alberta town of Stettler. Robert Raymond Cook, Ray Cook's son from his first marriage, was convicted of the crime, and had the infamy of becoming the last man hanged in Alberta. Forty-six years later, a troublesome character named Louise in a story that Betty Jane Hegerat finds herself inexplicably reluctant to write, becomes entangled in the childhood memory of hearing about that gruesome mass murder. Through four years of obsessively tracking the demise of the Cook family, and dancing around the fate of the fictional family, the problem that will not go away is how to bring the story to the page. A work of non-fiction about the Cooks and their infamous son, or a novel about Louise and her problem stepson? Both stories keep coming back to the boy. Part memoir, part investigation, part novella, part writer's journal, The Boy, is the author's final capitulation to telling the story with all of the troublesome questions unanswered.
About the author
Betty Jane Hegerat is the author of two novels, a collection of short stories, and a book of creative non-fiction. She writes from a longstanding fascination with relationships and families and the secrets and lies that bind ordinary lives together.
Delivery was shortlisted for the George Bugnet Prize for Fiction in the 2010 Alberta Literary Awards. The Boy was shortlisted for the 2012 City of Calgary Book Prize, the Wilfrid Eggleston Prize for non-fiction in the 2012 Alberta Awards, and the High Plains Book Awards in Billings, Montana.
Betty Jane has taught creative writing classes and workshops in numerous venues and has particularly enjoyed mentoring new writers.
Betty Jane Hegerat was the recipient of the Writers Guild of Alberta 2015 Golden Pen Award for Lifelong Achievement in Writing.