“Anna has never been read so well, you will un/read her reading, this Anna as scarlet woman cast into the outer darkness of moral turpitude, of blame, a site of sin. Anna written as serially wrong: wrong to want to extricate herself from the unfortunate Karenin (his ears, his cracking knuckles), wrong to love passionately, wrong to want her child, her writer writing her into wrong-doing until she is un/done by that writing. This is the moral weight that Anna bears, that crushes her. Created by a man, read by men, revised by men; now, here on Ellesmere, you dare to set her free from the darkness of pages, her horrid shadow.”
Blurring the boundaries between autobiography, fiction, and criticism, Places Far From Ellesmere explores the places we’ve been and aspire to, the ones we flee and those we can’t escape, both imagined and lived. Following the narrator from Edberg through Edmonton and Calgary to Ellesmere Island, the book interrogates how place shapes us and how we create place, taking Tolstoy’s most famous heroine along for the ride. A brief personal history of Canada’s third largest island, Alberta’s two biggest cities, and one of its many secrets, Places Far From Ellesmere maps the inevitability of narrative and probes the possibility of escaping those stories that we’re caught in the shadow of.