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The Chronicle-Journal: Finding a home in Vacationland

By Deborah de Bakker
The Chronicle-Journal

Stonich_Vacationland coverVacationland, by Minnesota author Sarah Stonich, is set so close to Thunder Bay that it is tempting to call it a local book. Naledi Lodge, the low-end resort at the centre of the book, is on the American side of Stonich’s fictional Hatchet Lake, which straddles the Minnesota/Ontario border. The Canadian shore can be seen from the dock out front, and the late owner, Vaclav Machutova, kept the lodge radio “permanently tuned to the CBC because he couldn’t abide American news broadcasts.”
This book and its author seem so near, and yet so far! Unfortunately, the border between here and the U.S. (a made-up, but very real line) makes it challenging and complicated for the writers and readers of Minnesota to interact with their counterparts in Northwestern Ontario. Few Minnesota writers manage to get up here for readings, which is a pity.

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