WINNER of the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, and shortlisted for the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction at the 2011 Manitoba book awards!
Maria works for years as the immigrant “help” in a fine Winnipeg home. But there is a secret from those years she will need to keep for the rest of her life.
“a testament to the pleasure of pure storytelling…” (jurors)
“beautifully and intelligently written” (Sarah Klassen)
“I never imagined what the end would be for Maria, whom I had come to love so deeply” (Katherine Arnoldi)
to ORDER: Order through your local bookstore, Amazon, McNally Robinsons’s Booksellers, or directly from:
600 Shaftesbury Blvd. Winnipeg MB
Fax: (204) 487-3858
Winner of the McNally Robinson Book of the Year (2010). Comments of the jurors (Joan Barfoot, Trevor Cole, Richard LeBrun): Dora Dueck’s emotionally smart and unsentimental account of half a century in the life of a Mennonite immigrant to Manitoba moves eloquently from 1927, when she enters domestic service as a girl, through desire, pregnancy, poverty, war and a variety of affections and loyalities. With mind-and-heart-catching observations, Dueck creates a humane and fully satisfying depiction of times, places, communities and, most vitally, a compellingly astringent protagonist in the person of Maria Klassen.
Shortlisted for the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction (2010). Comments of the jurors (Tannis Gretzinger, Corey Redekop, Deborah Rush): “This Hidden Thing,” tracing almost the entirety of one woman’s experiences growing up in early 20th century Winnipeg, is a testament to the pleasure of pure storytelling. The care and precision Dora Dueck brings to her characters results in a story of warmth and compassion that never wavers in its quality. With echoes of the sensitivity of Carol Shields’ “The Stone Diaries,” Dueck has crafted a novel that resonates.
“Reasons I write” at CBC Manitoba Scene.
Prairie Fire review: “absorbing, finely crafted… full, empathetic portraits… no stock characters here, no shortcuts.” Faith Johnston
“Lives and Memories,” Prairie Books NOW (Print edition, online post pending) —
“beautifully written… [protagonist] Maria’s response is exquisitely nuanced…” M. Goldik
“Exposing ‘this hidden thing’,” Canadian Mennonite — “an eloquent saga….attention to detail” B.L. Dyck
“Novelist examines early Mennonite experience,” ChristianWeek review/article — “driven by characters….Dueck’s talent shows in skilful passages which reveal much about her characters….soaked in history….its tone [ ] one of spiritual questioning…” Julienne Isaacs
“Hiding secrets, finding hope,” MB Herald — “entertains with sparkle… unique and engaging… I recommend this book.” J. Dick
“To be hidden, to be known,” Mennonite Weekly Review — “compellingly draws out [the] themes… a superb job of using Maria’s very particular situation…to limn the contours of human relationship… here’s hoping [Dueck] will find the space to write another novel of this caliber. And soon.” M.S. Mock
“This Hidden Thing,” 37 Mice (blog)
Review, Mennonite Historian– “I could not put [the book] down and several weeks after reading… Maria lingers in my mind. She will be there for a long time.” E.N. Schroeder
Review, Journal of Mennonite Studies —“multi-layered expose…Maria is a startlingly authentic character, a fully individualized composite…a moving and fully believable depiction…”
For book clubs or study:
CMU Press has put together a great set of questions about This Hidden Thing for book club discussion or study, here.
April 17: winner at the 2011 Manitoba Book Awards.
March (2011) news: This Hidden Thing shortlisted for two Manitoba Book Awards: The McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award and the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction! (See complete lists here.)
December (2010) update: This Hidden Thing made McNally Robinson Bookseller’s Manitoba 10 bestsellers for 2010!
The book’s production:
I enjoyed the reflections of Jonathan Dyck on what was involved in decisions about font and other aspects of the book’s production, here. He was employed at CMU Press at the time and I’m so grateful for his part in the production and also in publicity. I too am very pleased with how the book “looks and feels.” (Jonathan is now pursuing further studies in Edmonton.)
A few photos from the launch, May 19, 2010: (photos by Eunice Sloan)
April 21, 2010: Since the upcoming book will have something of a life of its own — at least for a while — as books often do, I thought I’d devote a new page to it for that life, for that while.