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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »The Players«

Leseprobe vom

The Players

Goose Lane Editions


Two French explorers arrive in Court to charm two ships from the English King. The rest, as they say, is history . . . Or perhaps not. Set in the libertine era of Restoration England, The Players embarks on a voyage of discovery with compelling characters, a magical plot, and stunning imagery. A tale of beginnings and of invention, this remarkable novel takes on the 17th century with a contemporary sensibility. Here, the ability to perform — in Court, on stage, in private quarters, and in the brutal cold of James Bay — might save your life . . . and Lilly Cole must play along with the best of them. Sly, provocative, and ingeniously funny, Sweatman's prose explores the deep well of human motivation, how instinct trumps reason when survival is in question.

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"An eloquent and suspenseful work that captures the realities of three different worlds, showing us the glimpses of the world in transition — the unstable motherland, the liminal space of the voyage, and the unforgiving wilderness — and the adaptability of humans that survive them."

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"A florid and engaging read."

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"The Players tells the artful, awful truth about Canadian history. In getting to this truth, it uncovers history as a haunting of all of our stories."

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"Beautifully crafted, carefully researched."

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"If it is true that 'a storyteller carries his house on his back,' Sweatman must sport a spectacular dowager's hump. The Players is a story of survival, laced with political, physical and spiritual dangers. By the time the cast of characters look for their exits, we need no further convincing of Sweatman's talent as a wordsmith."

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"The tale of a young woman, determined, scrappy, hungry. And with its tantilizing ending, the totemic publishing word trilogy comes to mind. Sweatman seems to reach for more than just a good story. She wants to explore the power gap between men and women, the clash of cultures, the greed and curiosity behind the business venture that led to the Hudson Bay Company. The result is a detailed, sometimes effusive telling of the tale of a young woman, determined, scrappy, hungry. And with its tantalizing ending, the totemic publishing word trilogy comes to mind."

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"Sweatman often fictionalizes Manitoban and Canadian history in her novels. With The Players, she widens her focus. The result is a rollicking ride, with intrigue, comedy and strong characters. It's delicious."

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"Richly set in Restoration England and Canada's then virtually unknown northern wilds, this is a wonderully humourous tale filled with playful language."

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"Sweatman provides many moments of poetically rendered insights in the novel. Readers will glean from The Players the kind of fraught satisfaction that defines memorably fine fiction."

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"Sweatman does not shrink from presenting the times in all their brazen glory. She writes erotic with the best. Bursting with good humour and refreshing in its willful ignorance of political correctness. Sweatman's writing flows as smoothly as a muscular northern river, with a stunning control of voice. She keeps the reader engaged every moment, introducing us to a company of intriguing characters, and makes good use of fastidious detail."

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"Women and their interior lives are Sweatman's territory and she treats these familiar subjects with depth, beauty and tenderness."

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A playwright and lyricist, Margaret Sweatman is the author of three novels. Together they've won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, the John Hirsch Award, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, the Margaret Laurence Award, the Sunburst Award, and the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award. Margaret Sweatman performs with the Broken Songs Band. She won a Genie Award for the song "When Wintertime."

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Mr. Jones«

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Mr. Jones

Goose Lane Editions


Winner, Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction

Shortlisted, McNally Robinson Book of the Year and Relit Award (Novel)

Award-winning author Margaret Sweatman has proven herself a virtuoso writer of historical fiction. Yet nothing she has written can prepare you for Mr. Jones.

Emmett jones is adrift. Having firebombed civilians as a pilot during World War II, Emmett searches for something to cling to when life loses focus. Post-war, he becomes compulsively drawn to John Norfield, a former POW who has found his focus in communism.

Set in a time of rampant paranoia, Mr. Jones peels back the veneer of Canadian politics to reveal a nation willing to sacrifice its own. It is a fearful time, a time of "peace" at the onset of the nuclear age.

Emmett's existence comes under scrutiny. His relationship with Norfield makes him a target of security forces. His marriage, his job, even his child are the target of investigation. And as the nuclear arms race heats up, Mr. Jones sets himself on a path that will risk the lives of everyone he holds dear.

Evoking the classic works of le Carré and Greene, Sweatman's novel is a shattering exploration of a past where world governments threaten annihilation while training housewives in the proper techniques for sweeping up radioactive dust.

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"Margaret Sweatman outdoes herself again in scope and skill level in Mr. Jones."

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"... a hugely compelling tale set in the heart of McCarthyism, of a former air force pilot caught in the unflinching scope of Canadian and American governments jockeying for position during the Cold War. Mr. Jones is especially relevant today as a study on the expendability of Rights and Freedoms in the name of security."

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"It is the relationships between the cast of characters that forms the arc of this story, their loyalties to one another as well as their betrayals."

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"Mr. Jones is suspenseful, evocative, and astonishing in scope. Here is communism as it unfolds in Canada during the '50s and '60s, the repercussions of the Cold War, espionage, and the explosive co-mingling of idealism and ambition. Margaret Sweatman writes all the dangerous fires — bravery, betrayal, loyalty, and love. Prose as lyrical and transparent as Ondaatje, as politically astute and fiercely clear-eyed as Didion. This novel burns bright."

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"The paranoid '50s cracked open in unlikely places. Sleek, believable — essential too, like the missing pieces in a long abandoned puzzle."

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"With consummate skill, Margaret Sweatman brilliantly replicates the Cold War with its pervasive atmosphere of paranoia and doom while seducing the reader's empathy for her characters. Her novel may be 'historical,' but it stands as a stark warning of the ways governments continue to invade and trouble our private lives."

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"Mr. Jones is an atmospheric tour-de-force."

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"Emmett Jones is a fascinating new protagonist on the Canadian literary scene."

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"It works as a story of identity, exile and loneliness: Emmett Jones' own identity is questioned to the point where he no longer knows who he is: husband, father, friend, civil servant, or none of the above, just an invented character in some Washington dossier. Sweatman describes what it feels like to see a face in the mirror, and the faces of family, and not recognize any of them."

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A playwright and lyricist, Margaret Sweatman is the author of three novels. Together they've won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, the John Hirsch Award, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, the Margaret Laurence Award, the Sunburst Award, and the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award. Margaret Sweatman performs with the Broken Songs Band. She won a Genie Award for the song "When Wintertime."

 
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