A historical portrait of one woman’s quest for happiness amid a lifetime of bad men.
There Are Victories is a proto-feminist, anti-Bildungsroman that explores the intersections of misogyny, class, religion, and prejudice within upper class Anglo-Montreal and New York City society before, during, and after WWI. Originally published in 1933, There Are Victories takes up the catastrophe of the home front and the ways in which the life—and happiness—of the novel’s protagonist, Ruth Courtney, is continually undermined by the bad behaviour of men. This new edition features a foreword by Scotiabank Giller Prize winner Johanna Skibsrud.
About the authors
Charles Yale Harrison (1898-1954) was an author, activist, and editor. Harrison born in Philadelphia and raised in a Jewish family in Montreal. He served in World War One, an experience that would influence much of his subsequent fiction. A dedicated fellow traveller, Harrison moved from Montreal to New York in the 1920s, where he worked on the staff of the Communist Party of America (CPUSA)-led magazine New Masses alongside outspoken literary critics of proletarian literature such as Mike Gold. He was also a founding member of one of a series of John Reed Clubs, established in 1929 in an attempt to create a large forum for leftist writers. Drawing on his own service in the First World War, he published Generals Die in Bed (1930), a scathingly anti-war novel about the horrors of trench warfare. The novel was well received, and was followed by the novels A Child is Born (1931), There are Victories (1933), Meet Me on the Barricades (1938), and Nobody’s Fool (1948). He also authored a biography of the American socialist lawyer Clarence Darrow (1931), and the self-help book Thank God For My Heart Attack (1949).
Johanna Skibsrud is a novelist, poet and Assistant Professor of English at the University of Arizona. Her debut novel, The Sentimentalists, was awarded the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize, making her the youngest writer to win Canada's most prestigious literary prize. The book was subsequently shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Award and is currently translated into five languages. The New York Times Book Review describes her most recent novel, Quartet for the End of Time (Norton 2014) as a "haunting" exploration of "the complexity of human relationships and the myriad ways in which identity can be malleable." "It is exhilarating", writes the Washington Post, "to join a novelist working at these bracing heights." Johanna is also the author of two collections of short fiction: This Will Be Difficult to Explain (2011; shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Award) and Tiger, Tiger (2018), a children's book, and three books of poetry. Her latest poetry collection, The Description of the World (2016), was the recipient of the 2017 Canadian Author's Association for Poetry and the 2017 Fred Cogswell Award. Johanna's poems and stories have been published in Zoetrope, Ecotone, and Glimmertrain Magazine, among numerous other journals. Her scholarly essays have appeared in, among other places, The Luminary, Excursions, Mosaic, TIES, and The Brock Review. A critical monograph titled The Poetic Imperative: A Speculative Aesthetics is forthcoming. A novel, Island, will also be published by Hamish Hamilton Canada in fall 2019.
"Written in an exquisitely modulated manner that is admirably suited to its matter, Mr.
Harrison’s novel is a delicate, penetrating study of a woman’s soul, crowded with dramatic incident and stripped of all the futile irrelevancies that make the usual novel such a trial to read."—from the original dustjacket copy
original jacket copy
Other titles by Charles Yale Harrison
Other titles by Johanna Skibsrud
The Poetic Imperative
A Speculative Aesthetics
There Are Victories
The Nothing That Is
Essays on Art, Literature and Being