Author: James Trettwer
ISBN: 9781771871716 Categories: Fiction, Literary, Short Stories (single author), Small Town & Rural
Publication Date: 1 October, 2018
Dimensions: 6 x 8.62"

The fictional town of Liverwood’s main employer is the potash mine that seems to arc over the town and everything people do. With a novel-like persistence to detail, Trettwer’s stories observe how the townspeople thread their way through the thorn-fields of their relationships, which are complicated by their addictions and obsessions and by the numbing constancy of their lives. In the background the mine looms large, its four-rotor boring machines rumble deep under the earth, while six kilometers away, Liverwood town life embraces their rhythm.
In assembling Trettwer’s links between stories, we witness elimination of the romanticism often associated with small-town simplicity, and see the exposure of the unhappiness, corruption, and the exploitation that drive the town’s human affairs. The stories disclose the fears of those whom the mine has orphaned, like Lourdes whose life forward was always fraught with uncertainty that had to be met with bravado; the stories describe all the hard-drinking and the uncertain young men like Dillon, Darryl, and Blake, or the young women driven by lust that leads to unwanted pregnancies. In Thorn-Field small-town life is anything but idyllic. Rather it becomes a collage of human foibles and peoples’ dangerous vulnerabilities.

About the Author

James Trettwer was a winner in the Saskatchewan Writers Guild’s John V. Hick’s Long Manuscript Award in 2016 for this short story collection. He has also won the SWG’s Short Manuscript Awards. He has been most recently published in TRANSITION, Spring, and the anthology Wanderlust: Stories on the Move, by Thistledown Press in 2017. James lives in Regina, Saskatchewan.


“Thorn-Field . . . with its unique imagery and painful and profound moments, impressed the judges by its pacing, strongly rooted symbolism, and character-driven story.”

—2016 John V. Hicks Long Manuscript Awards Judges


Saskatchewan Writers Guild’s John V. Hick’s Long Manuscript Award, 2016 (winner)

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