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Gillian Wigmore, Grayling

If I ran things in my university literature department, I'd run a boutique course in environmentally inflected BC literature, with different books rotating through in different years. Were I to be so lucky, Gillian Wigmore's novella Grayling would be a perennial feature (alongside such other novellas as Winter Wren by Theresa Kishkan, and Robert Wiersema's The World More Full of Weeping).

Briefly, this is Jay's story, except that it's also Julie's, unless it isn't.

Jay is an ill-prepared and poorly equipped solo canoeist on the Dease River, both recovering from and running away from having had a non-cancerous tumour "the size of a peach" removed from a testicle (p.66). There's a very real chance he might die on the river. He's not deliberately seeking that outcome (although death drive? testicles as root of all evil?), but in his ignorance and self-centredness he's scarcely able to avoid whatever might happen to him.

Julie ... well, sp…

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