Shopping Cart

A Geography of Blood

Unearthing Memory from a Prairie Landscape

Regular price $26.95 CAD
  • ISBN: 9781553652342
  • Tags: Biography & Memoir, Candace Savage, History, Indigenous People, Literary Non-fiction,
  • Dimensions: 6 x 8.75
  • Published On: 08/04/2012
  • 224 Pages
  • ISBN: 9781771003216
  • Tags: Biography & Memoir, Candace Savage, History, Indigenous People, Literary Non-fiction,
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5
  • Published On: 09/06/2013
  • 224 Pages
  • ISBN: 9781926812694
  • Tags: Biography & Memoir, Candace Savage, History, Indigenous People, Literary Non-fiction,
  • Published On: 08/04/2012
  • 224 Pages

A Globe and Mail top 100 book of 2012

Winner of the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction

A bestselling author embarks on a profound and dramatic journey through the eloquent landscape of southwestern Saskatchewan.

When Candace Savage and her partner buy a house in the romantic little town of Eastend, she has no idea what awaits her. At first she enjoys exploring the area around their new home, including the boyhood haunts of the celebrated American writer Wallace Stegner, the backroads of the Cypress Hills, the dinosaur skeletons at the T.Rex Discovery Centre, the fossils to be found in the dust-dry hills. She also revels in her encounters with the wild inhabitants of this mysterious land—two coyotes in a ditch at night, their eyes glinting in the dark; a deer at the window; a cougar pussy-footing it through a gully a few minutes' walk from town.

But as Savage explores further, she uncovers a darker reality—a story of cruelty and survival set in the still-recent past—and finds that she must reassess the story she grew up with as the daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter of prairie homesteaders.

Beautifully written, impeccably researched, and imbued with Savage's passion for this place, A Geography of Blood offers both a shocking new version of plains history and an unforgettable portrait of the windswept, shining country of the Cypress Hills, a holy place that helps us remember. Also available in hardcover.

Published in Partnership with the David Suzuki Institute.

Candace Savage is the author of more than two dozen books, including A Geography of Blood, which won the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. She divides her time between homes in Eastend and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.


" . . . the breadth of [Savage's] two dozen books shows she's really a writer of place. It's the intersection of landscape, people and natural history that most intensely captures her attention, and that focus is on display in Geography of Blood, a meandering memoir that ultimately arrives at a disquieting destination . . . " -Brian Bethune, Maclean's

"A Geography of Blood: Unearthing Memory from a Prairie Landscape should be required reading for Western Canadians. We need to understand our past in order to ensure a future that is in harmony with all the creatures who share this prairie home." -EcoFriendly Sask

"A Geography of Blood offers a shocking version of plains history and an unforgettable portrait of the Cypress Hills, a holy place for First Nations people." -Winnipeg Free Press

"Candace Savage's new book, Geography of Blood: Unearthing Memory from a Prairie Landscape, should be read by every prairie person . . . should go on the shelf next to Stegner's Wolf Willow, Don Grayton's Wheatgrass Mechanism, and Sharon Butala's Perfection of Morning. As always with her books, this one is well-crafted, thoughtful, and full of the kind of assiduous research that brings new information to the reader." -Trevor Herriot

"In this book the gifted Candace Savage has written a part-memoir, part-history of the Eastend, Saskatchewan area where I spent half my life. She has done it with wonder, precision, praise and grief, adding to and extending the body of work about this extraordinary place, filling in gaps and providing another point of view. It is a heart-warming, yet incisive work that any reader will find hard to put down." -Sharon Butala

"It is timeless nature, not the march of progress, that beckons Savage and Bell, and no wonder . . . the cottonwoods, the creeks, the 'strange, misshapen hills that made me think of ancient, fantastical worlds; never cease to enthrall." -National Post

"One of the terrific aspects of Savage's book . . . [is that] she makes the reader who holds that commonplace view of the prairies (re: emptiness, flatness, vastness) understand the falseness of the impression . . . she manages to repopulate the area with the thriving cultures and dynamic ecosystems that existed there for millennia . . . Savage's book provides the best kind of education: you fully enjoy the experience and walk away not only with an alternative view of your reality but an openness to ponder the significance of your newly acquired insight." -Brett Josef Grubisic

"Savage conjures from an 'empty' landscape a deeper, earthier past land; and as a whimsical investigation turns into 'full-on obsession,' she unveils a place filled with secrets and ghosts." -Globe & Mail

"Savage has a beautiful facility with language and brings the reader into the heart of the Prairies. In addition to archival research, the author uses oral history and her own experiences to invest the narrative with a great deal of potency . . . A Geography of Blood is a solid addition to the canon of Prairie literature." -Quill & Quire

"Savage weaves a gripping narration of regret and shame. Hers is a bittersweet tale of the land and its histories . . . It's a book with perfect pitch, combining careful observation, history and imagination into a wonderfully modulated account of life in a harsh corner of our near neighbour." -Gene Walz, Winnipeg Free Press

"Savage's retelling of this tragic era of Canadian history is heartfelt and thought provoking. Her story weaves descriptions and quotes from historical documents into a narrative threaded with the stories of First Nations residents who live on reserves near Eastend. Their voices bring the book into the present. Fluidly written and conversational, A Geography of Blood artfully unearths Eastend's astonishingly complex natural and cultural history." -Canadian Geographic

"This is a brave and necessary book, eloquently written, deeply felt. Savage makes us taste the past in the dust, hear it in the wind, see its traces across the sky." -Lorna Crozier

"What a privilege to read this book! Savage writes with poignancy, humility, humor, and no 'blithering about oneness with nature.'" -Linda Hasselstrom