The Björkan Sagas
by Harold R. Johnson
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Pub Date 05 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 02 Mar 2022
House of Anansi Press Inc., House of Anansi Press
Drawing upon his Cree and Scandinavian roots, Harold R. Johnson merges myth, fantasy, and history in this epic saga of exploration and adventure.
While sorting through the possessions of his recently deceased neighbour, Harold Johnson discovers an old, handwritten manuscript containing epic stories composed in an obscure Swedish dialect. Together, they form The Björkan Sagas.
The first saga tells of three Björkans, led by Juha the storyteller, who set out from their valley to discover what lies beyond its borders. Their quest brings them into contact with the devious story-trader Anthony de Marchand, a group of gun-toting aliens in search of Heaven, and an ethereal Medicine Woman named Lilly. In the second saga, Juha is called upon to protect his people from invaders bent on stealing the secrets contained within the valley’s sacred trees. The third saga chronicles the journey of Lilly as she travels across the universe to bring aid to Juha and the Björkans, who face their deadliest enemy yet.
The Björkan Sagas is a bold, innovative fusion of narrative traditions set in an enchanted world of heroic storytellers, shrieking Valkyries, and fire-breathing dragons.
PRAISE FOR HAROLD JOHNSON AND CLIFFORD
Winner, Saskatchewan Book Awards: University of Saskatchewan Non-Fiction Award
Finalist, Saskatchewan Book Awards: Rasmussen, Rasmussen & Charowsky Indigenous Peoples’ Writing Award
“Clifford is a luminous, genre-bending memoir. Heartache and hardship are no match for the disarming whimsy, the layered storytelling shot through with love. The power of land, the pull of family, the turbulence of poverty are threads woven together with explorations of reality, tackling truth with a trickster slant.” — Eden Robinson, author of Son of a Trickster
“Clifford is a story only Harold Johnson could tell. By turns soft and harsh, intellectual and emotional, Johnson weaves truth, fiction, science, and science fiction into a tapestry that is rich with meaning and maybes. A natural storyteller, Johnson seeks imagined pasts and futurity with equal parts longing and care. This work allows readers and writers the possibility of new and ancient modes of storytelling.” — Tracey Lindberg, author of Birdie
“The story’s meditations on loss, family, and fateful actions prove absorbing from the opening page.” — Toronto Star
“Harold R. Johnson is a wonderful writer, and Clifford is his best work yet. For fans of Jack Finney and Richard Matheson, this terrific book is a wonderfully human tale of memory both bitter and sweet, as well as a poignant exploration of time’s hold over all of us.” — Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award–winning author of Quantum Night
“Clifford is unlike anything I’ve read — it is at once a story of science and magic, love and loss, and a case for the infinite potential of humanity. It is a book of profound wisdom — an unpacking of the deepest truths of science in an effort to transform the pain of grief and regret into healing and forgiveness.” — Patti Laboucane-Benson, author of The Outside Circle
“Clifford is a glittering and haunting account of returning home to places and people long avoided, of finding peace in the knowledge that your atoms are wound into the walls of abandoned places, and of learning to say ‘I love you’ through the act of letting go.” — Foreword Reviews
“This is not your average memoir … [Johnson] sets out to honour his brother’s memory by writing this book, and ends up looking at what it is that gives life.” — Winnipeg Free Press
“A brilliant mix of realism and fantasy.” — London Free Press
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