Books with Cottage Connections

December 17, 2015

At the end of the article I posted yesterday, I listed a number of books featuring cottages. I am going to print the list here because I recall that reading books set in cottages and cabins in the middle of winter can be a delicious thing to do that rates up there with snuggling under the covers to read a good murder mystery.

The Cottager

Summer 1995

Books with Cottager Connections

Compiled by Tanya Lester

The following is a partial list of books with connections to the Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario cottage areas:

Arnason, David. Fifty Stories And A Piece Of Advice. Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 1982

Born in Gimli near where he vacations each summer, the author set some of these stories on Lake Winnipeg but characters such as a talking sunfish, assure the reader they are fictional. And, for the record, there are 18, not 50 stories in this collection.

Arnason, David and Arnason, Vincent, eds. The New Icelanders: A North American Community. Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 1994

This unique book of historical reports, letters and newspaper accounts along with poems, fiction and non-fiction stories, invites the reader to interpret history in his or her own way. The west side of Lake Winnipeg is, of course, featured.

Ateah, Sam. Memories of Victoria Beach: An Oral History. Victoria Beach, 1991.

Edited and Co-written by Jocelyn Matthews Stewart, this book is filled with the storytelling reminiscences of Sam Ateah and his friends. It is a potluck feast of humourous anecdotes and local history notes.

Buffie, Margaret. Who is Frances Rain? Toronto: Kids Can Press Ltd., 1987

In this award winning children’s novel, 15 year old Lizzie spends the summer at her grandmother’s east of Lake Winnipeg. She time travels into her family’s past when she discovers the ruins of a cabin and a pair of child’s spectacles.

Clarke, Margaret. The Cutting Season. Edmonton: NeWest Publishers, 1984.

Set in Northwestern Ontario cottage country and authored by a writer who has spent many summers at Hilliside Beach, this novel explores the relationship between a widowed mother and her daughter while chronicling the older woman’s survival when she decides to winter at her cottage.

Hunter, Maureen. Beautiful Lake Winnipeg. Winnipeg: Blizzard Publishing, 1990.

Originally produced by the Manitoba Theatre Centres’s Warehouse Theatre, the play is about a man who accompanies his financee to her cabin where they meet up with her ex-husband. Called a riveting story of obsession and sadistic manipulation, it breaks the stereotype of peaceful cottage living.

Lester, Tanya. Friends I Never Knew. Charlottetown: gynergy books, 1992

This novel, authored by a writer who comes from Victoria Beach, celebrates the importance of telling each other our stories. One of the fictional characters is Lou, a woman in her eighties, who recalls growing up in the Winnipeg Beach area.

MacDonald, Jake. Indian River. Winnipeg: Queenston House, 1981

This author’s book is set at a fictional fly-in resort called Indian River. There are similarities to Minaki Lodge where the author has worked as a fishing guide.

MacDonald, Jake. Lakes, Lures and Lodges: An Anglers’ Guide to Western Canada. Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 1993

The author draws on his background as a fishing guide in Minaki.

MacDonald, Jake. The Bridge Out of Town. Ottawa: Oberone Press, 1986

In this collection of short stories, the author’s sense of humour comes through in his characters who include trappers, guides, aboriginal people, addicts and the unemployed. If it wasn’t fiction, you might swear they came from the Kenora area.

Magnusson, Kristiana. So Well Remembered. Winnipeg, 1978

Written by their granddaughter, this is the story of the Magnus and Ingibjorg Magnusson family, of Icelandic background. It contains reminiscences of fishing on Lake Winnipeg.

Tefs, Wayne. Made in Manitoba. Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 1990.

This anthology features 22 Manitoba writers including W.D. Valgardson who set his story in Matlock and Margaret Laurence’s “The Loons”.

— END–

Tanya Lester is the author of four books, many other pieces of writing, a psychic who specializes in tea leaf reading, tarot and mediumship with psychic channelling and intuitive counselling, is a fulltime housesitter and a reiki master. To connect with her, go to , Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google.

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