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Posted: Tuesday January 13, 2015
Meredith Quartermain

Meredith Quartermain is celebrated across Canada for her depictions of places and their historical hauntings. Vancouver Walking (NeWest, 2005) won the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Nightmarker (NeWest, 2008) was a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award, and Recipes from the Red Planet (BookThug, 2010), her book of flash fiction, was a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.

Quartermain was the 2012 writer-in-residence at the Vancouver Public Library, where she led workshops on song writing and writing about neighbourhoods, and enjoyed doing manuscript consultations with writers from throughout the Lower Mainland. She’s now continuing these activities as poetry mentor in the Writer’s Studio Program at Simon Fraser University.

Quartermain has taught English at the University of British Columbia and Capilano College and led workshops at the Naropa Summer Writing Program, the Kootenay School of Writing, and the Toronto New School of Writing. In 2002, she and her husband, Peter Quartermain, founded Nomados Literary Publishers.

LATEST Meredith Quartermain NEWS

October 2016 : Our Fall 2016 books are launched!

October 2016 : Tomorrow: Talon’s big fall launch!

September 2016 : U Girl has arrived!

August 2016 : U Girl on the radio

August 2016 : Another great review of U Girl

August 2016 : The first review is in: Ubyssey loves U Girl

July 2016 : Fall 2016 previews!

January 2016 : Best of 2015

May 2015 : Book Review: Quartermain’s blend of poetry and fiction

May 2015 : Authors for Indies Day! Tomorrow (Saturday, May 2)

April 2015 : Tonight in Toronto! Talon’s Spring 2015 Poetry Launch

April 2015 : We Have Liftoff! (Photos from Talon’s Spring 2015 Poetry Launch in Vancouver)

April 2015 : Talon’s Spring Poetry to Launch in Vancouver and Toronto

March 2015 : I, Bartleby, Am Here

February 2015 : Q&Q Shouts Out to Meredith Quartermain and Jordan Abel

January 2015 : Announcement: New Books for Spring 2015!


U Girl

“Meredith Quartermain, however and as always, cannot disappoint with her new novel, U Girl. Recognition of Quartermain’s versatility leads to astonishment at her oeuvre. The contrast is sharp, for instance, between the dreamy flights of the poetic prose in I, Bartleby (her prior book, marketed as a collection of short stories) and the curt, realist prose of U Girl, which exhibits great restraint in the writing and shows Quartermain’s flexibility and mastery of her craft.”
Canadian Literature

“Quartermain takes her readers through the lens of a young woman challenging her small town looking glass with a much wider angle. … Much like [the protagonist, Frances’s] characters in her novel [within the novel], the pace and lessons of life are far from stagnant and [Frances] continues to forge on to a new frontier.”
Pacific Rim Review of Books

“As a meta-narrative about the process of writing a novel, U Girl succeeds … On the one hand, we have a universal coming-of-age story, and on the other, the vivid local setting rich in its use of detail. … In the end, we are drawn convincingly into Frances’s world.”
PRISM International

“A whimsical pleasure to read, and at times deeply felt and affecting … it will amuse and tease anyone who has ever been young, poor and confused about life. Which must be just about everyone.”
Vancouver Sun & Calgary Herald

“Quartermain has truly outdone herself this time. … This bildungsroman is an extraordinary new addition to Canadian literature … Readers should prepare themselves for a tidal wave of emotion, reflection, and new perceptions when they dive into Quartermain’s latest masterpiece.”


I, Bartleby

“Nothing short of brilliance … I, Bartleby is an astonishingly sophisticated collection demonstrating a poetic spirit whose quality of writing is surpassed only by the breadth and depth of its reading. Quartermain, like all great poets, breaks language, cleansing the font of its impurities by burning off any threadbare cliché or tired usage …”
Canadian Literature

“Like Proust, Quartermain works in the space between moments, between what is happening and the faint mnemonic triggers that exist in momentary webs of memory and thought. … The stories read very much at the speed and flow of thought, and the author’s approach is every bit as smart and imaginative as Barth or Barthelme, although nothing feels like a game … She’s getting at something important about us, about the torments surrounding banalities, and memories, and childhood, and writing. … Above all, it’s Meredith Quartermain’s dexterity in channelling lives and landscapes to explore the symptoms of our post-millennial malaise that make I, Bartleby both wickedly smart and fun to read.”
Malahat Review

“…the kind of book some readers undoubtedly could find disorienting in its initial reluctance to provide those markers we most associate with ‘short stories.’ By the end, however, the book has made its own alternative, less commonplace strategies sufficiently recognizable that going back to the beginning and re-reading, especially given the book’s relative brevity (118 pages), can be a highly rewarding experience, as Quartermain’s achievement becomes more distinctly visible.”
Full Stop

“I, Bartleby is Meredith Quartermain’s gift to the careful reader who lives to be awestruck. Not long into this intertextual and intercultural opus, you understand that you’ll be reading it not just in the future, but in the future after the future; the ineluctable pleasure of it expects your return. As the author says, ‘I’ve opened a box I can’t close’ – and so it is that I feel about I, Bartleby: the text is open, the words are out, and Meredith Quartermain’s work explodes all notions of containment.”
—Wayde Compton

“Short stories? Prose poems? Feuilletons? These evocative meditations are imaginative flânerie, each one opening a portal to a world of personal nuance, archival investigation, the mysteries of marking, writing, and interpreting, and the cost these exact … Each is a portal to the foreignness and oddness of the everyday, the paths walked … With rich and quirky metaphors evoked by passing encounters, with her proud gendered sensibility while facing culture, with vivid details of the real and the imagined looping excitingly together – Quartermain has created a writerly book of great panache.”
—Rachel Blau DuPlessis

“In I, Bartleby, Meredith Quartermain chips away the deadwood of dry syntax exposing the raw and revealing the new. Each line is a branching event budding fresh images and ideas. An exciting read.”
—Grant Buday

“Meredith Quartermain continues to extend her impressive exploration into poet’s prose and the ‘fictive certaintie’ of an alternate imaginary. What I love about these prose feints at their various subjects is that genre is impossible to pin down – prose poems? Essays? Fictions? Memoir? Like Borges, it’s impossible to tell and beside the point. What we encounter is unmistakably thinking – in, through, and at times it even seems by language, from which the authorial Bartlebys have excused themselves. This is masterful writing about writing and difference – with a difference – where we ‘swim among the constitution of words,’ place, and memory.”
—Stephen Collis

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