Country of Cold: Stories of Sex and Death
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A Vintage Tales Book.
Graduating from high school in a small Canadian town, you are immediately faced with two stark choices: leave or stay. Country of Cold follows the stories of a disparate group of Dunsmuir, Manitoba’s class of 1980, most of whom leave, imagining that life happens elsewhere. They flee to the freedom of the big cities of the world and the far corners of Canada, but many end up feeling rootless and alone, whether as a physician in an Arctic Inuit community, a temporary boyfriend in Paris, or a student in the McGill Ghetto. The characters attempt to unravel the impossible puzzles of adulthood -- searching for answers by hurtling over falls in a barrel, building a boat to escape a teen-daughter-gone-bad, or embarking on an unlikely affair with a two-bit wrestler.
Kevin Patterson won international accolades for his wonderfully observed and moving memoir, The Water in Between. This fiction debut confirms him as a major new literary talent.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
mailbox. The school bus pulled up. We both got on, and stared out the windows. The week before the contest, Terry put me on a fast: saltine crackers and water. “You’ve got to be kidding,” I said, eyes opening wide, smiling my best I’m-in-the-company-of-a-madman smile. “Not even a french fry,” he said to Daphne and the rest of the counter girls, who all looked on sympathetically. Who could be so unkind to a poor deformed baby pig? “And I’m just across the street. I’ll know if a pizza car pulls
dominated by house builders, as opposed to boatbuilders. A static structure bears perpendicular surfaces well. The column reliably supports loads only when vertical and straight; when gravity is the sole antagonist, flat continuous planes at right angles to one another make compelling sense. The moment the construction is put into motion, all this changes. Sleek and graceful curves are as much a demand of fluid dynamics as they are of aesthetics, or more. The thin-hipped curves of the Spitfire
Lined up against one wall were chairs borrowed from the school for the elders. A dozen of the older men and women sat on these too-small hard-backed chairs, their sealskin kamiks shining in the electric light, bright skirts draped over blue jeans and bountiful laps. Louisa’s father, Simionie Ooluk, sat with his drum among the old people, smoking his pipe at the end of the row. Simionie Ooluk was one of the few elders whom Mary didn’t know. He was on no regular medications, and the only time she
the medical section hasn’t been forgotten entirely. The radio crackles and hums but nobody calls for Starlight. Starlight awakes at irregular intervals with drool dripping onto the roof of the ambulance, wondering where he is. The regimental aid station was the only portion of the regiment that knew such peace; the gun batteries split apart on arrival, like an angry family, and spent the whole spring charging about the range in their self-propelled howitzers as if in amphetamine-induced
machinery and the cooks travelled back and forth thirty and forty kilometres between the to-be-fed and the supply points. Nevertheless, as vigorous as the training might be, the effects of incoming artillery fire could not be sanely duplicated and the only casualties the medics saw were exhaustion and sprained ankles. A couple of snakebites. Dehydration, heat stroke. Just enough work to keep Docteur Joly from achieving total union with the roof of his ambulance. Artillery rounds differ from one