J. A. WAINWRIGHT ...
Canadian writer & author


J.A. Wainwright
was born in Toronto, Canada. Since 1972 he has lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he is McCulloch Emeritus Professor in English at Dalhousie University. His areas of specialization are contemporary and Canadian literature and popular culture, including a class on Bob Dylan and literature of the 1960s.

His first novel, A Deathful Ridge: a Novel of Everest, was shortlisted for the Boardman-Tasker Prize in Mountain Literature in 1997, and his biography of painter Robert Markle, Blazing Figures, was shortlisted for the ForeWord Magazine Literary Prize in the U.S. in 2010. He has given readings from his fiction and poetry collections in Canada, the USA and Europe.

    The GRACE of our AFFECTIONS  Published 2018 CUSTOM BOOKS CLASSIC imprint

 


  IN LIMITED RELEASE

The Grace of Our Affections

A writer ponders a photograph taken in a Yorkshire garden in the early 1890s of his maternal great-grandparents and their seven children. His mother gave it to him when he was a boy and told him his ancestors’ names. Since those seven had only four offspring and so much time has passed, he realizes he is likely the last person alive who can identify those in the picture.

The few extant records show the family patriarch was a Methodist minister and that his eldest son followed in his footsteps. Another son became the writer’s grandfather whose troubled relationship with his daughter failed to erase her fidelity to the collective past.

Faced with a sense of obligation to his mother and scant historical evidence, the writer attempts to meet his vanished relations the only way he knows how – by writing them down. Who were his great-grandparents, Thomas and Elizabeth, and great-uncles and great-aunt – Ernest, Bertram, Horace, Arthur, Norman, and Letitia – as well as his grandfather Clement. What might have been the personal stories of consequence they did not visibly leave behind?

In order for those stories to emerge, he invents distinct ancestral voices and has his family members react to a shared set of circumstances in a single setting – the Orkney Islands – where they dramatically break free of old gender, class, and sexual restrictions. Because of his great-grandfather’s profession and convictions, and the children’s interrogation of religious certainties, there are unavoidable collisions in this new world between Methodist faith and secular belief, and between generations.

Accompanying the nine Orkney tales are vital sections of the novel titled ‘The Frame’ in which the writer questions the results of his creative efforts and the price of such invention. Haunting ancestral lives, and haunted by them, he is forced to confront what it means to try to raise the dead with words and live on through their imagined resurrection.     

          

 Published: July 2018
ISBN 978 1533988710
PRINT Format:153 x 229 mm 
US Trade Paperback
Extant 210pp 

PRINT & eBOOK All Formats
In Limited Release
OCTOBER 2018 

COMMERCIAL FICTION
RIGHTS AVAILABLE

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    The LAST ARTIST  Published 2016 CUSTOM BOOKS CLASSIC imprint

I am not sure what impressed me the most — the ability to conjure up worlds and beautiful stories for each painting, the profound understanding of art and its relationship to who we are, the writing sentence by sentence….and, of course, the epic linkages in plot and their poetic integration over epochs. What you accomplished with An’s story in and of itself is stupendous. So very tactile, that story: you feel every brush stroke between the threats and revelations in her short life. Truly amazing. Ben’s story and the spiritual triangle with his friends, wonderful. And, of course, ending the novel with a young girl…given how it began, with the death of Ben’s daughter.
Canadian writer, Larry Gaudet



 

Confronted by his own mortality and that of his paintings, artist Ben Sand reproduces several modern masterpieces on the walls of an isolated French cave so they will last for 20,000 years.

His efforts are mirrored by those of a Paleolithic girl, An, who, in her own cave, reveals through stroke and colour the physical violence and spiritual depths of her pre-historic environment.

An’s visions and techniques are directly described, while the essence of Sand’s endeavours is found in compelling stories that emerge from landscape and human presence within paintings by Bruegel, Goya, Monet, and others.

The result is enduring images of visual brilliance framed by lived experience that has its own place and longevity in time.

 


The LAST ARTIST

 

        

          

 Published: July 2016
ISBN 978 1533988710
PRINT Format:153 x 229 mm 
US Trade Paperback
Extant 210pp 

PRINT & eBOOK All Formats
In Limited Release
OCTOBER 2016 

COMMERCIAL FICTION
RIGHTS AVAILABLE

 

   


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