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February 2019 Fiction: Canadian

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A Reckoning
A Novel
By (author): Linda Spalding
9780771098246 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FICTION / Literary Feb 12, 2019
$22.00 CAD
Active 5.13 x 7.99 x 0.68 in 320 pages McClelland & Stewart
A perfect companion to The Purchase, Linda Spalding’s bestselling, award-winning novel, A Reckoning is the deeply moving and troubling account of a family’s breakdown.

It opens in the spring of 1855, when John Dickinson is involved in a shameful secret that will require a tragic decision. The family’s resources have been wasted by a reckless brother who holds all of them hostage and, adding fuel to John’s desperation, the enslaved workers have been visited by a Canadian abolitionist who pushes them to escape. Bry does, and his pursuit of freedom will involve a dangerous quest to find his mother and child in Canada.

Meanwhile, the Dickinsons become fugitives of another kind, escaping their losses in a wagon en route to the West that will eventually be loaded onto a Missouri river boat for a dark adventure. Forests and rivers prevail in this story, and each person will be tested, especially thirteen-year-old Martin, whose lonely journey with a pet bear is almost mythic.

A story told with stunning language and a unique voice, A Reckoning confirms Spalding’s place at the forefront of Canadian literature.

Publication History: McClelland & Stewart, HC (09/2017)

RETURN TO THE PURCHASE: A companion novel to the hugely succesful book The Purchase, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award.

WIDE READERSHIP: Great and involving story full of moral complexity and insight into human nature, a literary novel with an historical setting. This is not genre historical fiction.

TREASURED AUTHOR: Linda is media-friendly, well-connected, and promotable.

Born and raised in Kansas, LINDA SPALDING immigrated to Canada in 1982 from Hawaii. She is the author of The Purchase, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award, and three much earlier novels and two acclaimed works of non-fiction: The Follow, which was shortlisted for The Trillium Book Award and the Pearson Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize; and, most recently, Who Named the Knife. She received the Harbourfront Festival Prize for her contribution to the Canadian literary community. She lives in Toronto, where she is the editor of Brick magazine. Spalding lives in Toronto.

Author Residence: Toronto, ON

Author Website:

Author Social Media: Twitter: @LindaSpalding

“Linda Spalding’s dark, mythopoetic novels about the antebellum American South, loosely based on her own family’s history, stand apart for their texture, moral nuance and painstaking…attention to language.”—Emily Donaldson, editor of Canadian Notes and Queries, for the Globe and Mail.

A Reckoning is an extraordinary novel. A humane and timely examination of how the societies we create—just or profoundly unjust—set the parameters for the people we become. This is a beautiful and brilliant work of art, vulnerable, driven, and unsettling.”—Madeleine Thien, author of Do Not Say We Have Nothing

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