The Small Things that End the World

About the Book

From the Giller-longlisted author of The Factory Voice comes a new novel in a similar vein- a story of the strength and resilience of three separate women, who, at three different points in history, are forced to make tough decisions and come face-to-face with calamities outside of their control. It’s 1954 and young Sadie Wilder gets her big break at last – a chance to babysit for the posh Bannister family whose regular babysitter, Wanda Keeler, is down with the mumps. Sadie is certain she can deal with any obstacle, but little does she – or anyone else, for that matter – know that on that very night Hurricane Hazel, to this day, one of Canada’s worst natural disasters, is about to strike Toronto. Sadie is alone with the two small Bannister children, Bobby and Faith, as winds and floodwaters ravage the house. The Small Things That End The World tells the riveting story of that fateful, tragic night, and its aftermath that takes us into the twenty-first century, an era of environmental disasters and the fragile economic lives of many, brought on by globalization. Lynes’ novel story poses big questions; how do we care for each other? How do we forgive? How do we move from one moment to the next in a precarious world? After catastrophe strikes, how do we keep believing in the forces of good? Jeanette Lynes has crafted a beautifully written story of three women on the margins as each tries to make her way in the world. The novel culminates in 2005, another year of environmental disaster.

About the Author

Jeanette Lynes is the author of seven collections of poetry. Her most recent book of poetry is Bedlam Cowslip: The John Clare Poems (Wolsak and Wynn, Buckrider Books, 2015). Bedlam Cowslip received the 2016 Saskatchewan Arts Board Poetry Award. Jeanette’s collection, Archive of the Undressed (2012) was shortlisted for two Saskatchewan Book Awards. Other recent poetry collections are The New Blue Distance and It’s Hard Being Queen: The Dusty Springfield Poems. Her poetry won the 2010 Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Award from The New Quarterly and has been nominated for a National Magazine Award. She has also received the Bliss Carman Poetry Prize and been shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Her poems have recently appeared in Grain and Numero Cinq. Her poems have recently been anthologized in ReGreen, as well as Pith and Wry. Jeanette’s novel, The Factory Voice, was longlisted for the ScotiaBank Giller Prize. Her writing has appeared in literary journals and anthologies in Canada and abroad, and her work has also been featured on CBC Radio. She has taught creative writing at the Banff Centre, the Sage Hill Writing Experience, St. Francis Xavier University, and the University of Manitoba. Jeanette has been a visiting writer at Queen’s University, Kingston (2008; Department of Gender Studies) and the University of Manitoba. She was Pathy Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies at Princeton University in 2003, Writer in Residence at Saskatoon Public Library (2005-2006), Kingston Writers’ Festival (2013), and Northern Lights College, Dawson Creek, B.C. (Summer 2005). She was also a Writer in Residence at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver (2011). She is a former editor at The Antigonish Review. Currently, Jeanette is Coordinator of the new MFA in Writing at the University of Saskatchewan. In 2017 she will be a Visiting Fellow at Bard Graduate Centre in New York City, and an 2018 she will be a Visiting Fellow at the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities.

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