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Guy Vanderhaeghe Books In Order

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Publication Order of Frontier Books

The Englishman's Boy (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Last Crossing (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Good Man (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Chapbooks

Dancock's Dance (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Plays

I Had A Job I Liked. Once: A Play (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Man Descending: Selected Stories (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Trouble With Heroes and Other Stories (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Things As They Are? (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Daddy Lenin and Other Stories (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Journey Prize Anthology(1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Turn of the Story: Canadian Short Fiction on the Eve of the Millennium(1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sundog Highway(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon

Guy Vanderhaeghe

Multi-award willing writer, Guy Clarence Vanderhaeghe, a native of Canada, is a winner of three Governor General’s Awards. Two of them were for his novels Man Descending and The Englishmans Boy, and the other was for Daddy Lenin and Other Stories, a short story collection.

Mr. Vanderhaeghe is most well known for the Western novel trilogy, The Englishman’s Boy, The Last Crossing, and A Good Man, situated in the 19th-century American and the Canadian West.

Book three of the trilogy, A Good Man, starts in 1876 in the American and Canadian West. This story, described as a romantic historical crime novel set in the old west, brings us Wesley Case, a former soldier and son of a Canadian lumber baron, who leaves Canada to escape a heavy secret of his past. He’s hoping to buy a cattle ranch so he settles in Montana where using his military experience, he becomes a liaison between the Canadian and American militaries. The goal is to resolve the intense anger with the Native Americans’ that came about during the United States Civil War.

Case has no regrets about leaving Canada and his past there. Some memories are like a “fist slammed to the heart”, particularly those of his cherished mother. His lousy father called her a “dragon without scales”. He was being critical and derisive, aiming to hurt her. Case saw the complement in those hateful words, how his mother wasn’t bothered by them, knowing her husband was right but in a wrong way. Case recognized the intelligence and strength she had.

To hell with his father. With his dear mother passed on, Case has no reason to stay in Canada. Case is searching for a peaceful ranch life but the brutal violence erupting between the Sioux warriors and the US Calvary gets in the way. His peaceful life is further interrupted when he falls in love with a strong minded, beautiful widow.

Case has competition for Ada Tarr’s affections from an admirer who is an angry and dangerous foe. The confrontation will occur as the American military commits to its final onslaught on the Native Americans.

Writing a story in a different century, Mr. Vanderhaeghe gives us My Present Age. Ed is trying to outrun his demons; and they are plentiful. He has been a drunk, out-of-shape, unemployed, loser of a husband. His wife, Victoria, justifiably left him. It seems to have been a wakeup call for him.

Ed begins trolling alleys, parking garages, and motels in his “quixotic” quest to find Victoria. To do this he must first confront his personal, and extensive, failings. He realizes that, as of now, he has wasted his life. Pissed it away with booze and laziness. He doesn’t like himself very much and he’s realizing why his wife didn’t like him either.

Mr. Vanderhaeghe shows us his excellent range of writing with a play he wrote. Dancock’s Dance is about one man who is broken and clinging to his sanity. Lt. John Dancock is shell-shocked and deemed unfit for duty or to be in society.

The ghosts of his past, the haunting apparitions of a soldier he is responsible for torturing, and the good parts of his conscience are all combined to torment him and give him no reason to expect any peace.

The story of Lt. Dancock’s personal hell is described as emotionally haunting as he is clutching to a thirsting need for absolution and forgiveness. Dancock’s Dance is a brilliant diversion to Mr. Vanderhaeghe’s short stories and novels.

Mr. Vanderhaeghe’s, I Had a Job I liked. Once: a Play, is another brilliant work that showcases his excellent range of writing.

In August, 1957 in Saskatchewan, Canada, Les Grant is being held on suspicion of raping Tracy Tolbertson, who happens to be the daughter of the local crown attorney. The pressure is on Sergeant Finestad to question Grant, who is presuming he is guilty of raping Tracy.

It’s a small town with the usual small town prejudices and biases where everybody thinks they know everybody else’s business. Even small towns have their secrets. Particularly Tracy and her father.

Tracy’s dad is very strict and very hard on her, leading her to rebel against him. Acting out, she writes cruel things about Les on the wall for everyone to see. Les truly has had a hard life. He has to contend with being described as being one of the “Bad bunch, the Grants”. Les has been bullied for such a long time, he is inclined to act out too.

Down deep, Les is a good guy, but outside influences push him to make bad decisions. Les’s error is thinking he has “the right” to act out on Tracy.

Sgt. Finestad is being pressured by Tolbertson to put Les behind bars but Finestad wants to follow the law and stick to the rule of law but he’s having a hard time getting to the truth. Vanderhaeghe’s story is praised for the excellent development of characters and story line.

Guy Vanderhaeghe is a highly respected writer from Canada. Born and educated in
Saskatchewan, receiving a Bachelor and Master degree and serving in various teaching positions at high schools, colleges, and universities. In 2013, he received the Lieutenant Governor’s Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts, Saskatchewan’s highest honor in the arts.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Guy Vanderhaeghe

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