A Geography of Blood: Unearthing Memory from a Prairie Landscape (Paperback)

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Claire's Staff Pick (February 2014): This story unfolds slowly, first unraveling the personal history of Candace Savage that led her to the town of Eastend, Saskachewan, near to the Cypress Hills. Her exploration of the prairies leads to unexpected, and haunting, findings as she wanders the historical geography of this landscape, one that tells of epic destruction of the natural world. With expanding colonialism, the massive buffalo herds were slaughtered within a decade, forcing native communities become refugees to an expanding empire of intolerance and greed.

Savage writes about our colonial history from a different perspective, one of ecology and the natural world. I was humbled by this story, feeling grief and guilt for the actions of my ancestors that resulted in the collapse of the prairie ecosystems that thrived like the grasslands in Africa. Stories like this are ones we all need to read, difficult though they may be, to truly understand our relationship to this land. And, Savage is Canadian!

— From Claire's Picks


When Candace Savage and her partner buy a house near the Saskatchewan-Montana border, her naturalist's instinct propels her to explore the area. She takes pleasure in the Wild West setting, discovering hidden back roads, dinosaur skeletons at the discovery center, and fossils in the dust-dry hills. She also revels in her encounters with the land's wild inhabitants wolves, cougars and howling coyotes. But as Savage explores further, she uncovers a darker reality the little-known history of the Native people who were displaced from their homes, forced onto reserves, and deliberately starved and finds that she must reassess her own family's history as prairie sodbusters. Beautifully written and impeccably researched, A Geography of Blood offers both a shocking new version of Western history and an unforgettable portrait of the windswept, shining country of Cypress Hills, a holy place that helps us remember.

About the Author

Candace Savage is the author of numerous internationally acclaimed books on subjects ranging from natural history and science to popular culture. She is the author of the best-selling natural history titles Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies and Jays and Prairie: A Natural History, for which she won two Saskatchewan Book Awards and a Gold Medal from ForeWord Magazine in 2004. She is also a frequent contributor to numerous periodicals, including Canadian Geographic. She lives in Saskatoon, SK.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781771003216
ISBN-10: 1771003219
Publisher: Greystone Books
Publication Date: November 12th, 2013
Pages: 213
Language: English