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A Song for Nettie Johnson

by Gloria Sawai

A Song for Nettie Johnson
In her stunning, Governor-General's-Award-winning debut collection of short stories, Gloria Sawai examines the heartbreaking lives of people on the margins.

In her stunning debut collection of short stories, Gloria Sawai examines the heartbreaking lives of people on the margins.

A group of young school students prepares a memorial for the town's deceased doctor, at the inadvertent risk of deeply offending his widow. A young girl learns important things about herself - some of them extremely unpleasant - on a storm-ravaged Mother's Day weekend. A woman on a road trip in search of her erstwhile husband finds instead the one thing she never expected to see again in her lifetime. A woman sitting on the deck outside her Moose Jaw home receives an unusual and unexpected gentleman caller. And, in the title story, an outcast and misunderstood woman and her disgraced lover struggle toward what may be their last chance at redemption.

These and other vividly drawn characters populate the stories collected for the first time in A Song for Nettie Johnson. With insight and passion, Sawai throws light into dark corners and reveals dark truths.

Some stories are linked by common characters and settings; others are worlds unto themselves. But all are told in a rich yet spare style that imbues them with understated foreboding and unease. As Sawai deftly turns over the stones of these people's lives and finds the squalor, fear and unhappiness that lie beneath, she also uncovers that most precious of gems: hope. Hope that things will not always remain the way they are. The realization remains, however, that there's a lot more to changing things than simply wanting them to change.


5" x 8" 312 pages
19.95 CDN; 16.95 USD
E-Book Price
Fiction Tradepaper Adult
Gloria Sawai
Author Photo

About the Author

Gloria Sawai is a writer and editor who lives in Edmonton. Her most famous short story "The Day I Sat With Jesus On The Sun Deck And A Wind Came Up And Blew My Kimono Open And He Saw My Breasts" has appeared in a dozen anthologies and literary journals. A Song for Nettie Johnson is her first book-length publication.

She has also had her drama scripts produced by, among others, Alberta Theatre Projects and Lunchbox Theatre in Calgary and at the Edmonton Fringe Festival. Born in Minneapolis, MN, she lived in Saskatchewan from ages one to fifteen, then moved to Alberta with her family.



Winner, Governor General's Award for Fiction
Winner, Danuta Gleed Short Fiction Award
Winner, Award for Short Fiction, Alberta Book Awards
Winner, City of Edmonton Book Prize
Finalist, Torgi Literary Awards for Books in Alternative Formats, (Books on Tape)

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