October 20 @ 7pm at Back of Beyond Books: An Evening with Karin Anderson and Amber Caron. This Event is in Conjunction with the Utah Humanities Book Festival.

In conjunction with the Utah Humanities Book Festival, Back of Beyond books is pleased to welcome Karin Anderson and Amber Caron in conversation about their respective books: What Falls Away and Call Up the Waters.

Karin Anderson’s book: What Falls Away

Cassandra Soelberg, pregnant at seventeen, was cast out by Mormon patriarchs of her community. Returning to her rural Utah hometown after forty years to care for her senile mother, she meets a young man with an uncanny resemblance to the father of her never-known child. Drawn back into traumatic scenes of young adulthood, she must reconcile with her past in the fiercely beautiful landscapes that shaped her. What Falls Away is a powerful and compassionate novel of family, art, and the raw process of healing.

 

Amber Caron’s book Call Up the Waters:

In Call Up the Waters, the natural world is an escape hatch, a refuge, a site of work, and an occasional antagonist. In the title story, a devastating drought leads a mother of two deep into the Colorado Rockies in search of water. In “The Handler,” a woman leaves her boyfriend for the New Hampshire woods and fifty-seven sled dogs. A distress call from a boat in Massachusetts Bay compels a mother, in “Sea Women,” to plumb her daughter’s secrets. A girl torn between truth and expectation shows her courage in a funereal performance in “Barn Burning.” And in “Bending the Map,” a woman turns the tables on her obsessive, would-be lover after a powerful storm ravages her canyon home.

The characters in these ten stories—search-and-rescue workers, dog trainers, naturalists, archaeologists, and dowsers—are each fundamentally shaped by the environment in which they live and work. They seek meaning through labor, connection through jobs. But in that searching they often find themselves far from their destination. Familiar landscapes suddenly feel strange. Unfamiliar spaces offer something like hope. Off the map and off the grid, these characters, and their regrets and devotions, are nevertheless immediately, intimately recognizable.

Sharply observant but steadily elegant, textured with empathy and grit, Call Up the Waters marks the arrival of a remarkable new talent.

February has absolutely flown by! What are your favorite books you've read this month??

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We know, we know. You're on the edge of your seat for this week's staff pick. Well, here it is! This week, a review of Marian Engel's "Bear," from Matthew!

"Bear"
By Marian Engels

"Lou is a young librarian commissioned with inventorying an old colonel's estate. Upon her arrival at the family's island, she's prepared for a quiet summer, perhaps unearthing family secrets. She's not prepared for a bear. In the shed & on a leash, but that doesn't last long as Lou develops a connection, first with "it," then "him." And then, her own leash loosens. Everyone tells you "Bear" is that controversial 1976 Canadian novel with bestiality. What surprised me was how many other things it's about. How someone learns to love solitude, as something different from loneliness. How to love yourself, tenderly, after being taught (or forced to learn) love as an aggressive force. It's also about legacies, and settler colonialism, and deploys irony to explore it in the most fascinating ways. It's very funny, too within its 122 pages. And in its short time, it never renders any easy metaphor about the wilderness, which is brilliant."

- Matthew
 
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