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June 2012 Indie Next List
“Canada, Richard Ford's long-awaited new novel, is not one to be rushed. While the plot sounds sensational -- robbery, murders, a flight across the Canadian border -- Ford's laconic, measured prose forces the reader to slow the pace and savor the story. This is a novel about actions, intentions, and consequences as well as about belonging, introspection, and the solitary nature of life. Powerful and atmospheric, Canada will excite and gratify Ford's fans and introduce newcomers to a masterful American writer.”
— Tova Beiser, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, RI
When fifteen-year-old Del Parsons' parents rob a North Dakota bank, his normal life is altered forever, and a threshold is crossed that can never be uncrossed. His parents' imprisonment threatens a turbulent and uncertain future for Del and his twin sister, Berner. Fierce with resentment, Berner flees their Montana home for California. But Del is not completely abandoned. A family friend spirits him across the Canadian border toward safety and a better life. There, afloat on the Saskatchewan prairie, Del finds only cold refuge from Arthur Remlinger, an enigmatic and alluring American fugitive with a dark and violent past.
Undone by the calamity of his parents' robbery, Del struggles to remake himself. But his search for grace only moves him nearer to a harrowing and murderous collision with the forces of darkness that shadow us all.
A true masterwork of haunting and spectacular vision from one of our greatest writers, Canada is a profound novel of boundaries traversed, innocence lost and reconciled, and the mysterious and consoling bonds of family. Told in spare, elegant prose, both resonant and luminous, it is destined to become a classic.
About the Author
The author of six novels and three collections of stories, Richard Ford was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for "Independence Day", the first book to win both prizes. In 2001 he received the PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in short fiction.
“This is a brilliant and engrossing portrait of a fragile American family and the fragile consciousness of a teenage boy. It is also fascinating in the way it reveals the plot in the opening page and then winds backwards, offering a more and more intimate version of the story.”
“Pure vocal grace, quiet humor, precise and calm observation.”
-The New Yorker
“[Canada]confirms his position as one of the finest stylists and most humane storytellers in America… his most elegiac and profound book…”
“Robust and powerful… Ford is able to tap into something momentous and elemental about the profound moral chaos behind the actions of seemingly responsible people… Ford has dramatized the frightening discovery of the world’s anarchic heart.”
-Wall Street Journal
“A triumph of voice.... The writing... is spare, but heartbreaking.”
“Richard Ford returns with one of his most powerful novels yet…Ford has never written better…Canada is Richard Ford’s best book since Independence Day, and despite its robbery and killings it too depends on its voice, a voice oddly calm and marked by the spare grandeur of its landscape.”
“Awe-inspiring… The laconic, grief-stricken voice of Dell, looking back on his past, trying to make some kind sense of what happened when his family imploded, keeps you turning pages, as do the quiet, thought-provoking revelations that Ford drops in throughout.”
-O, the Oprah Magazine
“Told in Ford’s exquisitely detailed, unhurried prose…Ford is interested here in the ways snap decisions can bend life in unexpected directions... Canada’s characters grapple with this... and the answers they come up with define the rest of their lives, along with this quietly thoughtful book.”
“Masterly… in Ford’s American tragedy, filled with lost innocence and inevitable violence—a rusting carnival, a rabbit caught in a coyote’s jaws—geography feels a lot like fate.”
“One of the most memorably heartbreaking novels of the year.”
-Christian Science Monitor
“[Ford’s] newest novel Canada, shows an artist in full command of his craft—sparsely elegant and bracingly direct, with a refreshing lack of irony or tricks.”
“Marvelous…Canada is a masterpiece of a story with rich language and dialogue filled with suspense, bleakness, human frailties and flaws, and a little bit of hope seen through the eyes of an adolescent boy whose emotions seem often aligned with the desolate landscape of its setting.”
-The Oregonian (Portland)
“A must-read. . . . Canada reminds us why Ford is considered one of this country’s most distinguished writers.”
-St. Paul Pioneer Press
“[A] deeply felt and magnificently imagined work…With Canada, Ford has given us his deepest exploration yet of weakness and betrayal set amid a boy’s coming of age. It is a memorable novel, suffused with love, sorrow and regret.”
“[A] novel about big truths told by a writer with clear vision…solid, satisfying craftsmanship. This is a Richard Ford novel in the tradition of his earlier work. It also is a coming-of-age story, and a story about the discovery of identity.”
-Washington Independent Review of Books