news | Wednesday March 15, 2023

Hot Off the Press: “Shadow Catch” is Here!

Hot off the press! Shadow Catch, the Noh-inspired libretto by award-winning writer Daphne Marlatt has landed at Talonbooks. Shadow Catch recounts the dreams – or are they dreams? – of the Runaway, a teenage boy who ends up one night in Oppenheimer Park in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. He is visited by four troubled spirits from the park’s past: the Spirit of the Maple Tree from K’emk’emeláy̓ whose grove was decimated by loggers; a member of the brilliant Asahi baseball team whose players were sent to Japanese internment camps; the keeper of a 1920s brothel who is haunted by the tragic death of one of “her” women; and a roughneck 1930s policeman who succumbed to corruption.

An excerpt from Shadow Catch:


What are you doing? That’s my pack.


Sorry, so sorry. I was somewhere else. Or maybe I was here

and you were somewhere else.


That doesn’t make any sense.


At times it’s hard to see

the sense in what’s real.


Look, I find a place to sleep, then you come along and stab

my pack. Why don’t you work by daylight when it’s easier to

see what belongs to people?


What belongs, you say, and to whom? We thought Paueru

Groundo was ours, we thought our houses, the Buddhist

temple, our school, our shops, the noodle and tofu

makers, this baseball diamond, all that we worked so hard to

make was ours. Then Pearl Harbour happened and overnight

we learned none of it was.”

Shadow Catch includes scores written by 4 composers, Dorothy Chang, Benton Roark, Jennifer Butler, and Farshid Samandari and includes this book includes brief histories of species interconnectedness in the park, the Asahi baseball team, Vancouver’s early red-light district, and the Battle of Ballantyne Pier. Pick up a copy here.