We tend to look at landscape in relation to what it can do for us. Does it move us with its beauty? Can we make a living from it? But what if we examined a landscape on its own terms, freed from our expectations and assumptions?
This is what celebrated writer Helen Humphreys sets out to do in this stunning, groundbreaking examination of place. For more than a decade Humphreys has owned a small waterside property on a section of the Napanee River in Ontario. In the watchful way of writers, she has studied her little piece of the river through the seasons and the years, cataloguing its ebb and flows, the plants and creatures that live in and round it, the signs of human usage at its banks and on its bottom.
The River is the result, a gorgeous and moving meditation that uses fiction, non-fiction, natural history, archival maps and images, and stunning full-color photographs to get at the truth. In doing this, Humphreys has created a work of startling originality that is sure to become a new Canadian classic.
Helen Humphreys is the award-winning author of four books of poetry, seven novels, and two works of creative non-fiction, including the bestselling The Frozen Thames. Her work has been translated into many languages and published around the world. She has won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the City of Toronto Book Award, the Lambda Prize for Fiction, and her work has been longlisted for the Dublin Impac Award and shortlisted for the Trillium Prize. In 2009, she was awarded the Harbourfront Festival Prize for literary excellence in a body of work. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.