Saturday, September 15, 2018

New Books in the Works!

For the last few years--even before the final copy edit on Road through Time,  in fact--I've been working on two non-fiction projects.  The ideas for both came from my earlier projects, and incorporate observations and information I've collected over the years.

The first one, which is now called Frenemies: Why Some Places That Should Be Alike Aren't Alike, goes back to my first days in Montreal when I discovered how similar yet different  Vermont and New Hampshire are  There followed the realization that Canada has a similar pair, Alberta and Saskatchewan. There are many others like Burundi and Rwanda, and Haiti and the Dominican Republic. In all I've found ten pairs of political entities which you might call "unidentical twins" including the Big One:  the US and Canada. I had a manuscript ready to roll in 2016, but then came the incredible election of Donald Trump, and I had to hit Pause and do some more thinking.

During that time I began Rock of Ages: How Concrete Built the World As We Know It, which is in one sense an outgrowth of my books about cities, and Road through Time.  The University of Regina Press was very interested, and until a week ago, the plan was that it would publish the concrete book in 2019.

However, as my publisher says, the zeitgeist has shifted, and the time is ripe for the book about those unidentical twins, particularly as Canada prepares for a federal election in 2019, and the US for a presidential election in 2020.

So the order is shifted, and concrete will have to wait...

More later about pub dates and all that.   Now to get back to work and update Frenemies...

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Full Page, Back Cover Ad in the New York Review of Books!

What a wonderful surprise to see this!  Let's hope it allows the book to have a wider audience.


Friday, July 7, 2017

Road through Time a Grand Success!

The reviews are coming in, and Road through Time: The Story of Humanity on the Move is getting very good ones.

Most recently Katia Grubisic began her review/interview in the Montreal Review of Books:

"Mary Soderstrom might just be my new favourite writer. She’s been writing for years, and we’ve been reading her for years, but meeting her reveals an energy that is contagious, and a humility that should be. Soderstrom in person is as unassuming, open, and delightful as she is erudite and elegant on the page.... "

Monday, November 16, 2015

What Musicians Say about River Music

It's always nice when people that you write about like what you write.  I'm no musician, and one of the big unknowns about River Music was what musicians might think.  In fact, I was so unsure that I went out of my way not to ask musicians I knew what their opinion was.

But to my great delight, the reaction of musicians has been spontaneous and very positive. Here are three:


From pianist Jana Stuart: 

"Mary, I just finished River Music. I could not put it down. I related so much to the character of Gloria Murray and the plight of the young pianist. I loved it to pieces. "


From Madeleine Owen, lutist and artistic director, Ensemble La Cigale:

"Gloria, is tough and not always likable and yet, I had to recognize some of her  difficult choices as merely typical of what a musician, especially a woman, has to do in order to succeed in the competitive world of music."

And Cléo Palacio-Quintin, flûtiste-compositrice says: 

"River Music nous emporte dans le flot d'une vie musicale riche en émotions. Dans un rythme fluide, Mary Soderstrom transcrit avec finesse la passion intime d'une interprète pour sa musique...difficile de poser le livre avant la fin."


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Progress on the Road through Time


After River Music, a return to non-fiction:


This week I finished the revisions on Road through Time, and sent it off to the University of Regina Press which will publish it in Spring 2017.  The book, about roads as vectors of change and exchange, now has a subtitle: The Story of Humanity on the Move.   I hadn't given it one before because when I started writing I wasn't quite sure where I was going.

Now I know. 

It begins with a trip my mother, my younger sister and I took in the mid-1950s from San Diego CA to Walla Walla WA. (The photo is of Laurie and me at about that time.)  It ends with the trip to South America I took two years ago, travelling a newly opened highway across the Andes from Peru to Brazil.  In between I explore where humans have wandered from the time our ancestors stood up through the Great Expansion out of Africa to the Age of the Automobile. 

The book will be illustrated with some photos I've taken, some archival images and, I hope, this snapshot of two girls near the beginning of their respective journeys through life.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

River Music Is Launched

River Music was properly launched on Wednesday with  a little party at Librairie Drawn and Quarterly.  It was great fun. 

Now to get cracking on the next project...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

River Music to Launch in May

It'll be worth waiting for, I assure you. 

Cormorant Books will bring out River Music in mid-May.  Mary will present the book at noon on Thursday, May 14 at the Atwater Library, corner Atwater and Tupper St.  Pianist Jana Stuart will play Debussy's La Fille aux cheveux de lin which is very important to the story. 

Then on Wednesday, May 27, the novel will be officially launched at Librairie Drawn & Quarterly, 211, Bernard West, Mile End.

More details later.