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By Kevin Patterson

“Country of Cold is a terrific book. Kevin Patterson writes frequently about misfits and loners, but he presents them with such hard-edged clarity and insight that it’s impossible not to think of these people as kin. And whether it’s slapstick hilarity in a prairie Dairy Queen or the dead-serious menace of a winter storm north of the treeline, the writing is always pitch perfect.”
-Michael Crummey, author of River Thieves


Patterson_Country of Cold

Graduating from high school in a small Canadian town, you are immediately faced with two stark choices: leave or stay. Country of Cold follows the stories of a disparate group of Dunsmuir, Manitoba’s class of 1980, most of whom leave, imagining that life happens elsewhere. They flee to the freedom of the big cities of the world and the far corners of Canada, but many end up feeling rootless and alone, whether as a physician in an Arctic Inuit community, a temporary boyfriend in Paris, or a student in the McGill Ghetto. The characters attempt to unravel the impossible puzzles of adulthood–searching for answers by hurtling over falls in a barrel, building a boat to escape a teen-daughter-gone-bad, or embarking on an unlikely affair with a two-bit wrestler.

“Vivid. . .  Patterson makes this country exotic.”
The New York Times

“Patterson… [has] a keen eye for defining images and motifs that will linger long in the reader’s memory.”
The Globe and Mail

“An exceptional first work of fiction”
The Washington Post Book World

“Tracks eccentric and genuinely torn-up characters through barren, dramatic regions. . . Patterson . . . writes with the power of Russell Banks or Annie Proulx.”
Publishers Weekly

“[Patterson]… has made the leap to fiction with startling grace… Patterson manoeuvres his characters with a considerate, deft touch. These are lonely people trying to persuade themselves they aren’t, and Patterson is respectful of their ordinary tragedies and sympathetic to their lush disenchantments.”
Georgia Straight

“A masterful debut short-story collection . . . The stories are rich in event. . . but it’s in characterizations that Patterson shines, capturing shades of ambiguity, uncertainty and small happiness with a deft touch.”
Vancouver Sun


Nan A. Talese, US, 2003

Random House Canada, 2003


Winner of the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize 2003

Nominated for the BC Book Prize’s Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize 2004

Other Books by Kevin Patterson