DUSTSHIP GLORY (novel)
Doubleday, Toronto/New York, 1986 (hardcover)
Ballantine, New York, 1987 (trade paper)
University of Athabasca Press, Edmonton, AB. 2011 (trade
A brilliant saga of the dust-bedevilled thirties on the
prairies; a powerful portrait of an irascible, heroic man, part prophetic
genius, part damaged outcast, and his impossible, magnificent dream. Margaret
With Dustship Glory, his tale of a visionary Tom Sukanen,
Andreas Schroeder has joined the sparse and powerful company of writers, made
up of Kroetsch and Wiebe and Vanderhaeghe, whose prairie saints and madmen have
taken hold and will never let go of this country's imagination. What Schroeder
has accomplished is, quite simply, magical. Timothy Findlay, novelist,
Dustship Glory is the moving story of an authentic prophet;
that is, of a man considered mad and dangerous by the community, yet who lives
according to an expanded sense of reality while everyone around him clings
desperately to their illusions in the middle of the wasteland of dustbowl
Saskatchewan. Northrop Frye, critic, scholar, literary theorist.
Remember your first lessons in fiction – the ones where the teacher told you that a narrative’s conflict was either man vs. nature, man vs. man or man vs. himself? She was right. And Schroeder gives us all three, bound together by the strangely sympathetic character of Sukanen, who won’t be told, well, anything. He won’t be told that you can’t make a ship without all the proper materials –he can make them himself. He won’t be told that you can’t take a large ship down the Saskatchewan River – he designs one that you can. Above all, he won’t be told that he can’t do it all by himself. If he has to (and he does), he’ll drag his vessel across the prairie to the river inch by inch. If a book with conflicts and a protagonist this large is old-fashioned, hand me my spats and tell my kids to call me “sir,” because I loved this book! Alex Rettie, in Alberta Views.
PRIZES & AWARDS:
- Finalist, Sealbooks First Novel Award, 1984.
- BC Bookworld's Top 200 BC Books of the Twentieth Century,