LAMP AT NOON & OTHER STORIES
Sinclair Ross' 1941 novel As For Me and My House is a masterpiece of Canadian literature, a stunning evocation of the Prairies and their inhabitants during the Depression of the Thirties. With The Lamp at Noon and Other Stories, an original New Canadian Library collection, Ross reveals further dimensions of his fictional universe. A woman's impulsive infidelity leads to tragedy. A sudden hailstorm destroys hope. A boy learns to conquer a beautiful wild horse. A little girl dreams about a circus. Against the isolated, haunting landscapes of summer droughts and winter blizzards, the men and women of Ross' stories grapple with fate against almost impossible odds. Marked by a legacy of pride that will not suffer defeat, Ross' unyielding characters are cut off from their loved ones by obstinacy and defiance. Their tragedy is not that they suffer, but that they suffer alone. The sensitivity, compassion, and subtlety with which Ross portrays human aspirations and failings remain to this day unequalled in Canadian fiction.
Sinclair Ross was born on a homestead near Shelbrooke in northern Saskatchewan in 1908. He dropped out of school after grade eleven to work in a bank. After working in many small-town banks in Saskatchewan, he transferred to a bank in Winnipeg in 1933. In 1941 he published his first novel, As For Me and My House, with its evocation of prairie life during the Depression. The prairie is the major setting for his two collections of short fiction, The Lamp at Noon and Other Stories and The Race and Other Stories. From 1942 until 1946 Ross served with the Canadian army in London, England. In 1946 he returned briefly to Winnipeg before settling in Montreal, where he continued in banking until his retirement in 1968. Ross' later novels, The Well, Whir of Gold, and Sawbones Memorial, continue his exploration of prairie life and its power to challenge as well as sustain its inhabitants. Upon his retirement Ross lived in Greece and then in Spain. He returned to Montreal in 1980, and two years later moved to Vancouver. Sinclair Ross died in Vancouver in 1996.
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