Author Robert Kroetsch

06/23/11


Author Robert Kroetsch

Readers of Canadian literature will be saddened to hear of novelist and poet Robert Kroetsch's death at the age of 83.
Click here for the CBC news story, including a synopsis of his work.

His fiction includes:

The Words of My Roaring
The Words of My Roaring, the colourful first novel in Robert Kroetsch's Out West trilogy, is set in the same Alberta farm country as the better-known The Studhorse Man and Gone Indian. More conventional and accessible than the others, The Words of My Roaring moves kinetically through a 1930s provincial election campaign as experienced by the irrepressible Johnnie Backstrom. An undertaker, a drunk, a self-proclaimed "heller with women," and a neophyte political candidate, Johnnie begins his campaign by recklessly promising rain to the drought-stricken prairie. His bemused opponent, the popular Doc Murdoch, delivered Johnnie as a baby 33 years before and still thinks of him as his "first-born." Johnnie's party leader is the Bible-thumping, Ontario-bashing John George Applecart, loosely based on the historical "Bible Bill" Aberhart. As Johnnie struggles to define himself against these father figures, Kroetsch offers a lively portrait of small-town Depression-era politics and the roots of present-day western alienation.
description from Michigan State University Press
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The Studhorse Man (won the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction in 1969)
Hazard Lepage, the last of the studhorse men, sets out to breed his rare blue stallion, Poseidon. A trickster, a lusty peddler, and a wayward knight, the antics of this hero are only outmatched by those of the narrator, a maniacal, naked writer who works in his bathtub. Told with the ribald zeal of a Prairie beer parlour tall tale and the mythic magnitude of a Greek odyssey, The Studhorse Man is Robert Kroetsch's re-characterization of the Canadian West upon his mythological return home to Alberta.
description from Chapters Indigo
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Gone Indian
Overcome by his curious academic and sexual inadequacies, professional graduate student Jeremy Sadness lights out from his cramped office at a New York State University for the wilds of the Canadian northwest. He inadvertently exchanges suitcases — and identities — with Roger Dorck, the comatose victim of a snowmobiling accident, and becomes hopelessly embroiled in the comic Bacchanalia of the Notikeewin winter festival, during which he is arrested and compelled to judge a beauty contest in which all the contestants look exactly alike. This satire of the "quest novel" is one of the most hilarious works in Canadian literature.
description from publisher comments at Powells.com
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Badlands
In 1916, scientist William Dawe leads a palaeontological expedition into the badlands of Alberta, obsessed with achieving world renown by discovering dinosaur fossils. Fifty years later, his daughter, Anna, enters these same badlands. In her visit to the expedition site, she exposes not only the absurdity of her father's work, but also the folly of his male ambition.
description from McNallyRobinson.com
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Typing in Robert Kroetsch as an author search brings up all SILS holdings by him, including his many books of poetry.


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