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Thanks for Listening

Stories and Short Fictions by Ernest Buckler

Ernest Buckler; Marta Dvorák, editor

Paper 312 pp.

ISBN13: 978-0-88920-438-6

Release Date: July 2004

Online discount: 25%

$38.99  $29.24


eBook availability

A treasure chest of exceptional stories by one of Canadas classic authorsall now available in one volume.

Ernest Buckler, best known as the author of the Canadian classic, The Mountain and the Valley, never achieved the lasting fame he deserved. His first story was published in Esquire, a significant American literary magazine known for publishing leading writers such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Sinclair Lewis. Over the years, nearly forty more of Buckler’s short stories were published in several popular magazines, including Maclean’s where his story “The Quarrel” won first prize for fiction.

In Thanks for Listening: Stories and Short Fictions by Ernest Buckler, Marta Dvořák gathers together many of those stories as well as some previously unpublished pieces. At times she has chosen to include the fuller, original versions, and has reinstated some of the lost passages that were cut from stories to fit popular magazine requirements.

Ernest Buckler’s writing is rooted in the magic of the ordinary. He celebrates the land and its community, and sensuously recreates a paradise — almost a Garden of Eden. Buckler’s American editors were right in believing that no one evoked the lost world of North Americas agrarian past better than Ernest Buckler.

Ernest Buckler (1908-1984) was born in West Dalhousie, Nova Scotia. He spent most of his life writing and farming in the Annapolis Valley, and died in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia.

Marta Dvorák is professor of Canadian and postcolonial literatures in English at the Sorbonne Nouvelle, former associate editor of The International Journal of Canadian Studies, and editor of Commonwealth Essays and Studies. Focusing her research on (post)modernism and cross-culturalism, she has authored and edited books ranging from Ernest Buckler: Rediscovery and Reassessment (WLU Press, 2001) to Tropes and Territories: Short Fiction, Postcolonial Readings, and Canadian Writings in Context (co-ed. W.H. New) and The Faces of Carnival in Anita Desai’s In Custody.


“[T]he opportunity this carefully constructed anthology provides scholars to understand the range and depth of Buckler’s work is exciting. More exciting, however, is the opportunity it provides a new generation to read Buckler’s work.”

— Kevin Flynn, Educational Quarterly

“Since The Rebellion of Young David was allowed to go out of print, a new collection of stories and short fictions selected and edited by Marta Dvořák becomes signifiant for readers in interested in the artistic growth of Buckler, the craft of the short story or the development of Canadian literature....Dvorak has selected fuller, earlier versions or recovered passages that had been deleted by magazine editors....The best of these beautiful stories break your heart and leave you with a tender longing for what might have been.”

— Robert Reid, The Record (Kitchener)

“Marta Dvořák has wisely gathered the stories and ‘short fictions’ of Buckler’s inventory into one book....Buckler published many of these entries in well-established literary magazines of the times, such as Esquire and Saturday Night. Others are here for the first time in print, carefully edited and thoughtfully arranged....this collection is important and timely....Buckler’s sensitive and keenly drawn portraits of characters caught in a disappearing rural maritime past have given us an important record of inner lives, of the emotional wear and tear experienced by ordinary people.”

University of Toronto Quarterly, Letters in Canada 2004

“This collection, meticulously selected, edited, and introduced by Marta Dvořák, performs an invaluable service for readers who have known Buckler best as the author of The Mountain and the Valley. In fact, Buckler’s stories and shorter pieces — stylistically, as psychological studies, and in their artfully shaped forms — anticipate not only his best-known novel, but also, as Dvořák shows, the short fiction of other, better-known contemporary Canadian writers. This edition is a signal contribution to our understanding of Buckler’s real place in Canadian writing.”

— Neil Besner, University of Winnipeg

“Among the short fictions gathered in this volume is the much-loved ‘Penny in the Dust,’ but many of the others are appearing for the first time. Buckler’s inimitable style (seemingly casual yet cleverly metaphoric), his brilliantly evocative descriptions, and his subtle character portrayals are epitomized in a profusion of fictional moments. Anyone who has never read such masterpieces as ‘Just Like Everyone Else’ of ‘The Quarrel’ or ‘Humble Pie’ now has an opportunity to do so, one that should not be missed.... So ... enjoy some of the finest stories ever written.”

— R. Gordon Moyles, Canadian Book Review Annual

“Buckler [has been] criticized [for] accepting massive revisions, in order to be published in popular magazines. It is fitting that Dvořák has restored...these works.

— Anne Burke, Prairie Trust Journal

“These are stories that will break your heart and light up your mind. Dvořák’s selection reveals the brilliance of Buckler’s vision and craft.”

— J.A. Wainwright, Dalhousie University

Thanks for Listening gathers together more than 35 short fictions from Buckler’s published and unpublished work, reminding us of his strong hold on our understanding of rural life....Part of the significance of this new volume is that we can see how painstakingly careful Buckler was about his fictional craft.”

— David Staines, University of Ottawa, Globe and Mail

“The range here, including unpublished pieces...allows us to recover a more textured picture of Buckler....Given [Buckler’s] obvious contribution to the modernist story in Canada, it is time to give him a place in the national short-fiction canon.”

— Laurie Kruk, Canadian Literature