As a third-generation logger, a life in the bush is all Joe Adler has ever known. He works, he hunts; he provides. But when a man dies on his watch, and his wife abandons their young family for writing school in Toronto, Joe must face the consequences of his hard-living ways. Left alone to care for his seven-year-old daughter, he enlists the help of Jenny Lacroix, the wife of the man whose death he might be responsible for. Resentful and angry, and his conscience over Jenny’s husband far from clear, Joe threatens to spiral down the path of fury, booze, and violence that did his father in. What follows is a stunning tale of love and redemption, hatred and forgiveness, set amid the desolate cutovers, crystalline lakes, and rolling black spruce forests north of Lake Superior, and in a small logging town called Black River, once mighty and now derelict, in its final throes of existence.
Things Worth Burying is a novel set in a region that is rarely written about, the small resource-based communities that exist along the Trans-Canada Highway and its tributaries, from Sault Ste. Marie to Thunder Bay, the land north of Superior, a land of miners and loggers living a life in the bush, making ends meet, making do with the rise and fall of market economies that determine so much of their fate. Drawing upon his Northern Ontario upbringing, Matt Mayr brings us a single story pulled from a working-class people who in the face of disappearing jobs and shrinking populations make the difficult choice to stay because the land, the life, is in their blood.
Matt Mayr grew up in Manitouwadge, a small Northern Ontario mining town. He studied English Literature at York University and Creative Writing at the Humber School for Writers. His first novel, Bad City (2015),was a quarter finalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. He lives in Toronto.
“exceptional sophomore novel … a working-class story of life at the struggling-to-get-by level, of a man who loves his child, his work and his hometown…. A gritty, yet heart-warming read, … Recommended, and added to the 2020 longlist for Best Fiction for “The Very Best!” Book Awards.” James Fisher, The Miramichi Reader
“a tense narrative, which is coherent, insightful and told from a working-class perspective. Like Steinbeck’s salt-of-the-earth migrant farmworkers, Mayr’s characters are real, rough and shaped by tough times. … It takes the reader to core meanings of community, family and overcoming generational failure in a way that is contemporary, impactful and enduring.” Ian Thomas Shaw, The Ottawa Review of Books.
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