January 1, 2017
263 Pages | ISBN 978-0-995185-81-4
Set in southern Ontario during the 1980s, acclaimed poet Catherine Graham's debut novel is as layered as the open-pit mine for which it is named. Only child Caitlin Maharg lives with her parents beside a water-filled limestone quarry, but her idyllic upbringing collapses when she learns her mother is dying. After a series of family secrets emerges, she must confront the past and face her uncertain future. Lyrically charged, jewelled with images and at times darkly comic, Graham's prose weaves a mysterious, hypnotic tale of loss, deception and the courage to swim the depths of life alone.
"Written in gorgeous, focused language, this book sweeps forward, turning expectations inside out, giving us relationships that feel so real you'll flinch, and revelations both startling and inevitable." – Grace O'Connell, author of Magnified World
"Quarry flows through the legacies and layers of grief, and emerges into the joy and shock of discovery. It is a wonderful book." – Ken Murray, author of Eulogy
Catherine Graham is a poet, novelist and creative writing instructor. She is the author of six acclaimed poetry collections, including The Celery Forest, a CBC Best Book of the Year and finalist for the Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry. Her Red Hair Rises with the Wings of Insects was a finalist for the Raymond Souster Award and CAA Poetry Award and her debut novel, Quarry, was a finalist for the Sarton Women’s Book Award for Contemporary Fiction and Fred Kerner Book Award and won the Miramichi Reader’s “The Very Best!” Book Award and an Independent Publisher Book Awards’ gold medal for Fiction. She holds an MA in creative writing from Lancaster University (UK). Her poems have been translated into Greek, Serbo-Croatian, Bangla, Chinese and Spanish and have appeared in The Malahat Review, Arc Poetry Magazine, Glasgow Review of Books, Exile Quarterly, The Fiddlehead, Poetry Daily, Poetry Ireland, Gutter Magazine and have been broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster, anthologized in The White Page / An Bhileag Bhan: Twentieth Century Irish Women Poets and The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, Vol IV & V. A finalist for the Montreal International Poetry Prize, she has won the Arc Award of Awesomeness and her poems have been nominated for the 2020 National Magazine Award by Exile Magazine. She teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto where she won an Excellence in Teaching Award. A previous winner of the Toronto International Festival of Authors’ Poetry NOW, she leads their monthly book club and is also an interviewer for By the Lake Book Club. Visit her online at www.catherinegraham.com and @catgrahampoet.
The Celery Forest (2017)