Welcome to Canada


Welcome to Canada is a collection of novellas that dramatize what happens when a character meets his or her opposite.

This might mean a love story, the beginning of friendship or much worse. It could constitute a meeting with someone who brings out the main character's shadow self.

The characters meet in a Canada that is far from the comforts of home or city or familiar neighbourhood, a place where people feel on edge.

Carpenter's characters spring quickly to life in all their troublesome complexity. They can be funny or menacing or Big Trouble or endearingly human.

You never know.


Welcome to Canada





Gold medal for Canada-West – Best Regional Fiction
Independent Publishers of North America

Welcome to Canada has just won the IPPY (Independent Publishers of North America) gold medal for Canada-West – Best Regional Fiction.

This collection also won a second award, bestowed by the American judges in New York, May 26, 2010, for the Short Story category.

gold medal award




David Carpenter on fishing and writing the stories in Welcome to Canada, with Sheilagh Rogers on The Next Chapter Feb. 1, 2010.


Critical Response


"In Carpenter's story collection, naturalism meets humanism, springing to life a set of uncanny characters who hunt and fish and plain get-around, in a literary landscape that captures our wildest dreams with economy and precision."

"Welcome to Canada offers vivid, personal, unforgettable tales from a master storyteller. There is genius in Carpenter's use of language and his way with narrative."

"Welcome to Canada is a showcase of Carpenter's storytelling skills, especially in his longer short stories and novellas. These narratives are full of the Saskatchewan landscape, of manly pursuits like hunting and fishing, shot through with humour and tenderness."

-2010 Sask Book Awards- Judges comments on Welcome to Canada


"David Carpenter is a rigorously masculine writer, in the tradition of ... storytellers like Ernest Hemingway and Thomas McGuane. His subjects--hard drinking, pugilism--are reminiscent of Hemingway, and his linguistic facility recalls McGuane. But Carpenter's fictional voice, and the territory it covers, is unique to him. As Warren Carious writers, "He is preternaturally attuned to the poetry of the vernacular and the extraordinary variety of Canadian English, and he is able to place each of his characters in their own particular spots on that lavish linguistic spectrum, so that every phrase they speak contains a compendium of information about where they come from, what they want out of life, and their successes and failures.'"

-Steven Beattie, That Shakespearean Rag: Notes from a Literary Lad
full review>>


"Just a year after the publication of his entertaining novel Niceman Cometh, Saskatoon's David Carpenter brings together eight of his stories in Welcome to Canada....[His last story] "The Shot" reflects on a family photograph taken by a diffident young photographer back in the 1920s. The descendent telling the story offers a clever observation near the end: "A good memoir is worth a thousand photographs; it struggles to release the captives in the picture frame." And then a nice post-modernist touch: the narrator, whose name is Dave, says, in the second-last paragraph of the book, "Sometimes when I walk past the old house on a summer night I can almost hear my grandfather telling stories of terrible blizzards, problem bears, deer hunts and monster pike." Which of course can be seen as an allusion to most of the topics covered in the stories that precede this one in Carpenter's appealing and immensely readable book."

-Dave Williamson, Prairie Fire Review of Books
full review>>


The latest book by Saskatoon author David Carpenter is a collection of novellas and short stories that succeeds on a number of levels. Welcome to Canada features a landscape that is richly imagined (or perhaps remembered); it is a place where people and nature play an equal role, with the weight of importance shifting smoothly back and forth between them. The author has created realistic voices for his characters, and renders their dialogue authentically and with great skill. He writes colloquially, which can be distracting if not done well. Suffice it to say, he does it well.... Regardless of where you live or grew up, Carpenter has crafted his stories in such a way that the land and people feel familiar. Even urban dwellers will be able to appreciate the wildness and rough edges of the characters and the countryside.

-Carmen Klassen, The Star-Phoenix, January 9, 2010


"Carpenter's stories are beautifully honed acts of generosity. Reading each one is like happening upon an unexpected gift. We return from Carpenter country with a new appreciation for the people and creatures of our own everyday countries, especially the ones we have all too often forgotten."

-Warren Cariou, "You Are Now Entering Carpenter Country," from the introduction to Welcome to Canada by David Carpenter




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