Project Compass: Part 4

Project Compass is a collective novel that I published with Monto Books this October. It has four authors contributing to one larger story. Each author starts their story at one corner of the map of Edmonton and works their way towards the center. Each day this week I’ve written about one of the authors of this book and today we end on Robert Strong and his passage, West.


West, Robert Strong.

West is the story of Conrad. He’s in his seventies and he lives alone but he’s not a lonely guy. It seems that being left alone is what he wants most. There is a lot of mystery to Conrad’s story and as a reader you never really have sure footing underneath you as you’re reading this. The truth about Conrad, his past, and his present situation is in there somewhere. All over the narrative there are hints and the ending is something that will stay with you.

The thing I have always liked best about Robert Strong’s writing is that he tells the difficult truths. He uses straightforward language to talk about the things that are sometimes hard to talk about. His prose always feels very controlled and measured and purposeful, which is ironic because in West we are dealing with a sometimes unreliable narrator who may be trying to keep the truth from the reader. It’s a cool tightrope he walks and you know that when you are reading Robert Strong’s works that you are in very capable hands.

Like all the authors of Project Compass I am very excited to see what comes next for Robert Strong in his writing career but I am also excited for people to read his piece and all four of the passages in this very unique novel.

You can buy Project Compass in Edmonton this weekend at the Royal Bison Fair as well as at any bookstore in the city and online at Indigo or the Monto Books website.