Author(s): Helen Humphreys
We tend to look at landscape in relation to what it can do for us. But what if we viewed a landscape on its own terms, freed from our expectations and assumptions? This is what celebrated writer Helen Humphreys sets out to do in this beautiful, groundbreaking examination of place. Humphreys considers her small waterside property on the Napanee River in Ontario in the watchful way of a writer. The result is The River, a gorgeous and moving meditation that uses fiction, non-fiction, natural history, archival maps and images and original photos to find truth.
By turns poetic and philosophical (a phenomenology of the river?), a deeply contemplative work best enjoyed over several sittings. "Globe and Mail" Humphreys possesses extraordinary tools and wields them with daring and precision . . . Taken together, Humphreys powerful, compressed writing and the phenomenal photographs by Tama Baldwin evoke a sense of mystery and timelessness. The River takes breathtaking risks and hold treasures galore. This important work feels completely honest and earned. "Quill & Quire," starred Its untarnished eloquence smites the reader on a level of intimate innocence so beautiful that at times it leaves the reader breathless . . . Despite her many awards, Helen Humphreys is an under-appreciated writer who runs as quiet as subterranean as water. "Literary Review of Canada" To gain the fullest appreciation of Humphreys s method, read "The River" after "The Evening Chorus," a novel she published in the spring of 2015, and better understand the genesis and genius of both . . . A writer of thorough knowing and no wasted words, Humphreys need not expend energy writing a volume on craft. These books together say more about nonfiction s role in fiction and fiction s in creative nonfiction than any how-to manual could. And what links them most subtly are redstarts: they flit through the pages of both. "The Malahat Review" Those familiar with the work of Helen Humphreys know that her books are always beautiful and that they often build upon her knowledgeable relationship with nature . . . In "The River" she furthers her reach and explores the history of the area surrounding the Napanee River as well as the history of the waterway itself . . . The book is richly illustrated . . . But most important to the book is the linkage that holds this all together: the writing. "The Province""
Helen Humphreys is the award-winning author of four books of poetry, seven novels, and two works of creative non-fiction, including the bestselling "The Frozen Thames." She has won the Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Prize, the City of Toronto Book Award, the Lambda Literary Award, and the Harbourfront Festival Prize. She lives in Kingston, Ontario."