You Call This Home
This week, The Minerva Reader stumbled across a true treasure –
You Call This Home by Joan Lane.
  
I stumbled across this book at a sale at work and what a treasure to be sure!

Here’s some background on the author:
Joan Lane was born in 1931 in Warman, Saskatchewan, and grew up there and in Melville. An accomplished musician, trained classical dancer, and above all a gifted writer, she abandoned her artistic pursuits for the responsibilities of career and, later, motherhood. After her marriage to journalist Robert Hull, Joan Hull lived in Ottawa, and then for many years was a reference librarian in Owen Sound, Ontario. 

The stories collected in her Dumagrad collection You Call This Home were discovered with her papers after she passed away in 2008.

Goodreads says:
“The natural inclination, upon finishing You Call This Home, might be to describe it as a fine volume in the tradition of Alice Munro. One problem: Joan Lane wrote these stories in the very early 1950s—just when Munro was starting out. Some were broadcast on CBC Radio’s Anthology, Robert Weaver spotting in Lane a hint of the same talent he saw in the future Nobel Prize laureate. To cap off the similarities, both writers were born in the same year.

None of which is to suggest that Joan Lane would ever have been as great a writer as Munro. But there is a wealth of talent and accomplishment in these eight moving tales. They offer exquisite depictions of the very young, vivid snapshots of the timeless cynicism of youth, the sorrows of mothers who foresee the lives of their daughters in a flash, and the muffled private heartbreak of women life has swept aside.

Set in small town Saskatchewan before and after the war, the yearnings in these stories are familiar, the emotions eternal, and the voice clear and distinctive already.” 
 
I found these stories to be powerful and haunting. I can’t help but wonder what other gems Joan might have brought to this world, had she written more.
    
 
 
    
     
    

Joan Lane.
"The stories in this collection are about quiet, yet intense emotion; the tunnel vision selfishness of childhood, a tragic familiarization with rejection, miscommunication and its resulting loneliness. There was something I took away from each story, something that resonated with me. This part, from the eighth and last story You Call This Home, especially so:

"Because no matter how far away we were, you and I, we could never shake the prairie dust, this puritan prairie dust which blows and blows and blinds us to all that is real and happy, and drives us back to our own safe, empty shells. You are young, but you were born tasting that dust, and although you may struggle and eventually escape, you will need someone else, you will do it without me." Allie, Goodreads reviewer.