Rare, limited-edition, and out-of-print books
A Pebble’s Journey: The Grand River Observed by Two Artists
The Grand River winds for nearly 300 kilometres through the countryside, towns, and cities of southwestern Ontario, and also through the region’s life from the distant geological past to the present. The two artists, Marianne Brandis and Gerard Brender à Brandis, explored the river in the course of 17 sketching and note-taking trips and through interviews and research. This exquisite book – hand-printed and hand-bound by Gerard – contains 40 of Gerard’s wood engravings. Marianne’s text consists of an introduction and conclusion, and captions which – like the engravings – focus on particular aspects of the river. Together they tell a story which is “a dialogue of water with soil, rock, vegetation, weather, humans, and – because it is driven by gravity – with the planet itself.” The story is, indeed, about far more than this particular river: it is about the private life of rivers and their function in the environment. (Gerard Brender à Brandis, 2010)
This chapbook contains three villanelles, and wood engravings by Gerard Brender à Brandis. (The Brandstead Press, Carlisle, Ontario, Canada, 1969.)
This Spring’s Sowing
Marianne’s first published novel, this book deals with a middle-aged female school teacher who, after being diagnosed with a terminal disease, creates a new and more eccentric life for herself. (McClelland & Stewart Ltd. in Canada and G. Harrap and Co. Ltd. in England, 1970.)
A Sense of Dust
This is a short story about houses, about ageing, about one of those moments when awareness strikes. Wood engravings by G. Brender à Brandis. (Published in book form by The Brandstead Press, 1972.)
Elizabeth, Duchess of Somerset
This biographical novel in two volumes recreates the life of a woman who lived in England in the time of the Stuart monarchs and, in the culmination of an eventful life, was Mistress of the Robes and one of Queen Anne's principal political advisers. (The Porcupine’s Quill, 1989.)
A few copies are available from Marianne Brandis– please see ‘Purchasing and ordering information’ or from AbeBooks.
This short novel, the story of a middle-aged woman's "rebirth" after a life-threatening illness, is set in present-day Canada, with flashbacks to World War II in the Netherlands. (The Netherlandic Press, 1990.)
The Christmas Candlestick
Mrs. Murdock – respectable, ageing and poor – is selling her possessions. In the incident recounted in this short story, she encounters one of the purchasers. Wood engravings by G. Brender à Brandis. (Published in book form by G. Brender à Brandis, Stratford, Ontario, Canada, 1993.)
The central character of this novel is Adam Wheeler, a fourteen-year-old boy newly arrived in Toronto from England, who becomes involved in the Mackenzie Rebellion of 1837. Besides the events of the Rebellion, it deals with issues such as immigration, fractured families, and the stress of growing up. It contains scratchboard illustrations by Gerard Brender à Brandis, and it is enjoyed by readers of all ages. (The Porcupine’s Quill, 1996.) Copies are usually available from AbeBooks.
Finding Words: A Writer’s Memoir
This book explores what it has meant to be a daughter, immigrant, trauma survivor, writer, and single woman. Especially it examines how Marianne’s writing is rooted in her own experience. (Penumbra Press, 2000.)
This chapbook contains reflections on books and writing, and includes one of Marianne’s wartime memories of an occasion when books and light were closely connected. (Published by Gerard Brender à Brandis, Stratford, Ontario, Canada, 2000.)
This is a newer edition of the three villanelles. (Gerard Brender à Brandis, Stratford, Ontario, Canada, 2001.)
A series of three novels (which can be read independently), these books are set in southern Ontario — mainly York (Toronto) — in the early 1830s. They tell the story of an orphan sister and brother who move from a pioneer farm to live with their aunt, Mrs. McPhail, the owner of a hotel in York. Through their life in the hotel, they become acquainted with the whole spectrum of society in York – a small town in one way but, as the capital of the colony, a complex and many-layered community – from the Lieutenant Governor to the poorest street person. The books, used in a number of schools to help teach History and English, are read and enjoyed by people of all ages.
The wood engravings in the trade paperback edition and the Tundra edition are by Gerard Brender à Brandis.
(These books were first published by The Porcupine’s Quill in a trade paperback edition and then, also by the PQ, in a mass-market paperback edition. In 2003 they were republished by Tundra Books.)