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About the Author: W.D. Valgardson

William Dempsey Valgardson (born 7 May 1939) is a Canadian novelist, short story writer, and poet. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and raised in Gimli, Manitoba, he completed his BA at United College, BEd at the University of Manitoba, and his MFA at the University of Iowa. He was a long-time professor of writing at the University of Victoria in British Columbia.

His writing often focuses on cultural differences and involve irony and symbolism. His short stories involve normal people in normal situations, yet under certain circumstances, lead unusual and surprising lives.

Valgardson has won numerous awards and accolades, including the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize for The Girl With the Botticelli Face (1992) and the Books in Canada First Novel Award for Gentle Sinners (1980). His short story, "Bloodflowers", was included in Best American Short Stories 1971.

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Skald Tales from New Iceland by

Goodreads rating: 4.09

Paperback, Published in Jul 2011 by Turnstone Press

ISBN10: 0888013809 | ISBN13: 9780888013804

Page count: 130

A land of volcanoes, geothermal pools, and barren wilderness, Iceland is full of mists and mystery. For a thousand years, its inhabitants passed down oral histories that included fantastical fables as a way to understand their strange land. For settlers escaping starvation in the wake of volcanic eruptions and economic hardship, Manitoba's Interlake held further mystery.
35 years after Turnstone Press published its first book of poetry, The Gutting Shed, W. D. Valgardson returns with a collection full of fantastic tales and colourful characters. Bears, wolves, fish, forests, swamps, harsh winters, insect-infested summers, the unpredictable waters of an inland sea, and people claimed by the forces of nature, provide a wealth of material from which Turnstone Press's first published author draws his inspiration.
Ancient sturgeon who rescues a fair maid from drowning, a fisherman who can "speak" with a bear, and mischievous Christmas sprites who protect a poor girl from a nightmarish marriage: these and more tales combine a canon of Icelandic folklore with the landscape and wildlife of Canada for a truly absorbing reading experience.
Blurring lines between reality and fantasy, W. D. Valgardson continues to be one of Canada's foremost storytellers.

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