In April, 2022, the University of Alberta Press will be publishing my collection of loosely-connected essays, Blue Portugal, as part of their Wayfarer Series. The book is composed of ten essays exploring family history, travel, the intricacies of textile and colour relationships, the challenges of an aging body, wine, personal geographies, and the search for family stories through the landscapes of the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and the badlands of Alberta. It’s been a joy to work on the edits of this book over the cold winter, basking in the warmth of editor Kimmy Beach, and I am looking forward to seeing the book find the light of actual day as winter turns to spring.
Because of the times we are living through (prefigured in one of the essays, “The River Door”, about my grandmother’s experiences in Drumheller during the Spanish Flu epidemic), I’m not sure how much actual physical promotion I will be able to engage in with this book. (Watch this page for news.) My husband John Pass and I have always loved to celebrate the publications of our books with some special keepsake, time-permitting. We have a 19th century Chandler and Price platen press and John has designed and printed small cards to give away with the sale of books at our launches.
We are thinking about a bookmark this time, on nice cardstock, with some special sewn embellishments, to honour the abundance of indigo-dyed textiles in the book. Closer to the publication date, I’ll make details available to any of you who buy a book from the University of Alberta Press itself or from your own bookseller of choice (and given the times, with the difficulties so many small businesses are facing, I urge you to support those booksellers). I’ll mail you a keepsake to hold your place in my book. Almost (almost) as nice as meeting you in person and signing your book!
So watch this page. As news develops, I’ll post it here: reviews, events (by Zoom or in person), and anything else connected to Blue Portugal.