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Fiction Visionary & Metaphysical

Travellers May Still Return

by (author) Michael Kenyon

Thistledown Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2019
Visionary & Metaphysical, Psychological
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2019
    List Price

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P dir=ltr align=justify>Jesse Green, the young narrator of the first novella, wants to escape the developed world (Vancouver) and with her boyfriend takes a meandering trip down to Panama, the land bridge to South America. The central short story has an ambiguous setting and period, and is about the loss of a child. Charles Darwin, hero of the closing novella, whose historical namesake found his life work’s inspiration in South America, finds his inspiration in studying village life. The collection takes its visual form (novella-story-novella) from the shape of the Americas, North and South, and its psychological trajectory is from the present "daylight" world to the collective unconscious or archetypal. Carl Jung looms in the background and a fictionalized Charles Darwin dominates proceedings. P dir=ltr align=justify>The collection’s obsessions are Darwinian diversity read into human inner life; what happens when diversity is lost to homogeneity? That is, what happens when we do not accept parts of ourselves; what happens when genre and classification engulf "freedom" and spirit. New storytelling requires diversity within mind underwritten by the implicit paradoxes of the unconscious. These characters’ journeys are as much into the psyche as into the world. Kenyon’s people often find outer form in their lives through inner exploration and vice versa. This book is full of expressions of escape and commitment, knowledge and acts, introversion and extroversion, feminine and masculine.

About the author

Michael Kenyon was born in Sale, England, and has lived on the West Coast since 1967. He’s the author of eleven books of poetry and fiction. The Beautiful Children won the 2010 ReLit Award for best novel. Other work has been shortlisted for the ReLit Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the SmithBooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Baxter Hathaway Prize (Cornell) in fiction, The Malahat Review Novella Prize, Prism international’s fiction contest (won twice), the Journey Prize, and the National and Western Magazine Awards. He has adjudicated for the Banff Centre writing program, for the BC Arts Council, and for the Saskatchewan Arts Board. He has been employed as a seaman, a diver, and a taxi driver. Presently he works as a freelance editor and a therapist, and divides his week between Pender Island and Vancouver.

Michael Kenyon's profile page


  • Winner, ReLit Award

Excerpt: Travellers May Still Return (by (author) Michael Kenyon)

“I wonder what life will be like, every day made of prayers, worship. Prayer. It’s like listening hard for something you’ve never heard before or like working your whole life in silence trying to figure out whether beauty comes from outside or inside.”




“This stone contains the village’s fortune, if only I could read it. Before tragedy, before I began to know where I could and could not go, I held onto this stone. The stone is cold, even on a summer’s day, until I curl my fingers around it and it warms in my hand, a single thought with red veins.”


“What we do without children is artifice; what we do without art is natural. That time won’t bend around me indefinitely, that the civilizing cocoon will not last till morning, that meaning will only help me through daylight hours and when night comes will swallow its subjects – means I can’t sleep.”


“Adventure is an interruption of habit, and those who stay expect news from those returning. But they only tell what we can’t hear – and to kill time we tame the old epics.”

Other titles by Michael Kenyon