Friday night in Nelson, and around 75 people gathered to help Ross Klatte launch his long-awaited memoir about growing up on a dairy farm in Minnesota in the 50's.
I say long-awaited because in 1990 an essay of Ross' with the same name as the book won first prize in the CBC Literary Competition for non-fiction. In fact, the first time I ever spoke to Ross I was working at Kokanee Travel and he called to see what it would cost to go to Toronto to collect the award in person. As it was last minute, the cost was, of course, prohibitive.
Catherine Fisher of Otter Books kept having to put out more copies.
An old friend of Ross', Judy Wapp, who is also originally from Minnesota, introduced him.
Then the man of the hour took to the podium and entertained us by reading several selections from his book and answering questions put to him by the audience.
"It’s a story that lovingly delineates the richness and drudgery of farm life, the emotion of family ties, and a rapturous intimacy with nature", says the publisher's website. Oolichan is the smart publisher who picked up Ross' book. The writing is gorgeous. Bet it gets nominated for the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize at the BC Book Prizes next year, but even if it doesn't, it will exist as a beautifully written, thoughtful, and, at times, searing memoir of a simpler time. I highly recommend this one.