• Where the Truth Lies: Selected Essays

Where the Truth Lies: Selected Essays


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978-1-926455-75-4 | 2016 October | 312 Pages


“The problem with writer longevity can be a complicating, even contradictory oeuvre. Hopefully.”

Rudy Wiebe’s Where The Truth Lies collects forty years of essays and speeches that the award-winning author has crafted. In this illuminating and wide-ranging selection, Wiebe provides a look behind the curtain, revealing his thought processes as he worked on many of his great books. Throughout this book, he dissects controversies that arose after the publication of his early novels, meditates on words and their inherent power, explores the great Canadian North and the Canadian body politic, reckons with his family history and Mennonite faith, all while providing an engaging and enlightening commentary. Where The Truth Lies is a vital compilation of a writing life.

“A must for the writer or would-be writer, and the student of Canadian literature.”
~ Sharon Budnarchuk, Edmonton Journal

Where The Truth Lies ... digs down into the mind and methodology of a figure whose books, without exception, deserve close attention and always repay the reader's effort.”
~ George Fetherling, Quill & Quire

“It should find a permanent place on the bookshelves of the Western writer’s fans and indeed anyone curious about the terminal disease he calls ‘Writeritis.’”
~ Sarah Murdoch, Toronto Star

Where the Truth Lies is a fascinating collection and recollection of Rudy Wiebe’s ‘life narrative.’”
~ Robert Martens, Mennonite Historical Society of British Columbia

“Wiebe's essays show us what literature and the arts can be and can do; they treat their topics with a high seriousness and moral purpose. He is an essential writer, a citizen of the northern prairie ... and required reading for any literate and engaged Albertan.”
~ Ian MacRae, Alberta Views

“The sense of expansiveness imparted to the reader is drawn primarily from the utter vastness of Wiebe’s travels throughout Canada and into memories that are the genesis of his fiction and that have crafted his sense of identity.”
~ Rachel Lallouz, Canadian Literature

Several years ago, after long and serious introspection, I finally admitted to myself what my life problem has been; and is. I suffer from a terminal mental disease called writing. I panicked for a moment, and talked to numerous people in whom I had recognized similar symptoms; they laughed at my apprehensions. They told me there were no known practitioners who specialized in treating such cases, no medicines, and there certainly were no institutions, anywhere where one could go for a cure. Besides, I had been infected for so long—who knows when chromosomes and cells first run amuck, but in my case it was at least forty years—there was really no question about it, they told me. In fact, it had been clear to some of them for a long time: I would die of it. The deadly Writeritis. Where did it come from? I have no idea. I was a perfectly normal Canadian kid, last child of refugee immigrants who had found in Canada all they ever dreamed of in a country, and as a child I was taught all the sensible, practical things: to hold a good job and be a decent, contributing member of society—pay my fines and taxes, give donations to worthy causes, be polite, help those less privileged than I, behave decently in public—all that salt-of the-earth citizen stuff. So I went to school to become a medical doctor, but after the first year of university I didn’t want to do that. First class marks in science, second class in literature—and I changed my major and shifted to Arts and English. What was the matter with me? Was it a symptom that, even then, I did not recognize? My parents were the first not to understand what I was doing; I was the second. profile in New Trail NeWest Press Audio interview with General Manager Matt Bowes