The Ontario farmland described with arresting clarity in White Narcissus is, despite its beauty and abundance, “a place of choked vistas” where bitterness and rivalry have taken root. Against this backdrop Raymond Knister portrays the triumph of longing over despair, as his hero, Richard Milne, struggles to redeem his childhood sweetheart from the spiritual imprisonment of her parents’ home.
First published in 1929, White Narcissus was a groundbreaking work in the development of the Canadian realist novel, fusing Knister’s imagistic sensibility with the deeply felt experience of a real time and place.
Knister died tragically at the age of thirty-three, before his contribution was recognized in his own country and before the full potential of his remarkable talent could be realized.
From the Paperback edition.
- McClelland & Stewart, August 2010
New Canadian Library
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