Reviews

White Salt Mountain

Jill Boettger

A curious inscription in a copy of a book called Fir-Flower Tablets: Poems from the Chinese inspired Peter Sanger to write White Salt Mountain (Gaspereau Press), a book that weaves together stories and facts about the life of Florence Ayscough, a largely unknown writer, and her contemporaries. Sanger begins in his east coast home, where he identifies the clues that provoked his interest in Ayscough, and from there he proceeds along a trail of discovery of her life and work. I became subsumed by the story of Ayscough, and fascinated by Sanger’s own fascination, but at times I found myself wading through text that seemed to have lost its mooring. Samples of Chinese poems translated by Ayscough, and their relation to the work of the poet John Thompson, are just two of the lovely and intriguing threads in this book. In White Salt Mountain, Sanger offers new insight into Canada’s literary heritage.

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Jill Boettger

Jill Boettger writes poetry and nonfiction from her home in Calgary, where she lives with her husband and two kids. She teaches in the Department of English, Languages and Cultures at Mount Royal University and is a frequent contributor to Geist.

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