Project Compass is a novel that I published last month. It is an experimental idea that I call a collective novel. It has four authors. These four authors all begin their stories at one corner of the map of our city and work their way towards the center. I’m going to write a little bit about them each day. First up is North, by Lizzie Derksen.
North- Lizzie Derksen
North is a very personal story for the author. It’s about a woman who has become estranged from her family for some pretty heartbreaking reasons. The story is told in second person. There is a piece of the character that is speaking to itself and the directness of the voice added to the family history of the character just add to the devastating and beautiful narrative.
Project Compass takes place in a single day, the longest day of the year in the city of Edmonton but in the North passages we get to see other parts of the country and different years through flashbacks and memories the character has as she walks from one end of the city to the next. What I love most about North is the details. Every feature in a room, every hairstyle, smells, sounds, and quirk of character carefully placed foe the reader to discover. As the publisher I’ve read Compass so many times now that I’ve committed so many of these details to memory as if they were now part of my own story. It’s that good.
There is that old cliche that teachers use when they say that they learn more from their students than the students learn from them which I think is such a weird thing to say. I mean, your job is to teach the students! But I sort of get it now. I didn’t get into publishing to start handing out life lessons to my authors. I don’t have any life lessons. The biggest thing I can do to teach people is to be an example of how NOT to do things. I did take way more from these authors than they got from me. Lizzie takes her art very seriously. She carved time out of her life for this project and this is a life that has a lot of demands on her time as it is. It means a lot to me how seriously she took this project and how much trust she showed in me to be the proper caretaker of this story.
If the things I’ve written about Lizzie and her part of Project Compass sound interesting to you then I suggest you check out the book and the myriad of other things she has created.
If you like the creative things that I do and the unique projects that I support then I suggest you buy some of the things that I have made.
You can purchase Project Compass at any bookstore in Edmonton or online right here.