Some Bones and a Story
Published 2001 by Wolsak & Wynn
About this book
Some bones and a story is a series of dramatic monologues in the voices of different female saints, from Saint Anne (Mother of the Virgin Mary) to Saint Scholastica (twin sister of St. Benedict) This collection was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther award (best book of poetry by a Canadian woman.)
Experience a poem
Looking at this new volume alone, it is clear that her greatest talent lies in creating imagery that illuminates entire narrative sequences. Often the images are conjured with great economy, such as the one that punctuates this scene:
“Why do you not eat?” I asked.
. . . God told me
she murmured and the room ran with a current
carried on the sidelong slide of eyes.”
The electric sibilants in that final line mimic the movement of an unspoken thought among the people in a room—and in so doing, conjure those people almost magically.
– Literary Review of Canada, Nov-Dec. 2001
A master of both narrative technique and precise imagery, Major offers the reader a series of realistic word-portraits of women who, lacking other ways and means of expressing themselves, found expression in religious fervour.
– Canadian Bookseller, February, 2002
The moment of vocation is captured with heartbreaking simplicity in “Saint Marina”: “It came as a voice that spoke my name/intimately, at my shoulder. My / name. The one my mother called me by.”
– Books in Canada, September 2002.
Buying a copy
Some Bones and a Story is now out of print, but a few copies are available through this website.