Recap: Trevor Ferguson launches The River Burns

On Thursday, April 17, Librairie Drawn & Quarterly was very pleased to host author Trevor Ferguson as he launched his latest novel, The River Burns.

The River Burns is set in a fictionalized version of the small Quebec town of Wakefield, wherein the conflict between loggers and environmentalists is played out in a bitter feud revolving around the town's historic wooden bridge. Despite the violence brewing beneath the town's usually placid surface, there is also humour to be found in the story, courtesy of the cast of characters who inhabit Wakefield.

Here's Trevor describing one such inhabitant: Mrs. McCracken, an elderly woman who lives with her cat, Buckminster. Hearing suspicious noises in her home, she is provoked to get her two loaded (with blanks!) pistols, and open fire at the perceived intruders! But she only hears them laughing at her as they leave and she falls down the stairs. (Trevor assured us that she survived the incident intact, lest anyone worry about her well-being!)

Next, Trevor read a passage describing a confrontation between Denny (a logger and soon to be arsonist) and a Skooch (a conservationist who doubles as the local drug dealer.) Tensions escalate quickly when Skooch lights a fire on the road in front of Denny's truck to prevent him from being able to cut down any trees.

After the reading, Trevor answered questions from the audience and provided some background on the research he did for the novel. He explained that he borrowed the "tone, geography and history"of the real town of Wakefield, though of course he fictionalized certain plot elements and characters. He also drew inspiration from the small town where he grew up. As Trevor signed copies of The River Burns, the crowd enjoyed some delicious wine and cheese. We would like to thank Trevor and as well as everyone who came out to make the evening such a success.

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