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Many Lives Mark this Place

Raincoast Books


Many Lives Mark this Place is a unique and brilliant project: portraits of 32 of Canada's finest authors, painted into their "home landscape," each accompanied by a short-but-powerful essay about how that place influences their life and work. Hartman travelled from Newfoundland to Tofino and visited tiny hamlets, our densest metropolises, remote beaches, Rocky Mountain peaks, and even a shopping mall, often using camera-equipped drones or chartered planes to gain the vantage necessary for arresting, information-dense compositions.

While the authors and places vary greatly in style and geography - from Johanna Skibsrud to Thomas King; the glaciers of the Rockies to downtown Montreal - each entry is united by John Hartman's rich and vivid painting style, which offers a novel perspective on the writers we love and the places that formed them.

Featuring portraits of and essays by Carleigh Baker, David Bergen, Neil Bissoondath , George Bowering, George Elliott Clarke, Megan Coles, Douglas Coupland, Esi Edugyan, Marina Endicott, Will Ferguson, Camilla Gibb, Katherine Govier, Thomas King, Mary Lynk, David Macfarlane, Linden MacIntyre , Kevin Major, Heather O'Neill, David Adams Richards, Noah Richler, Chic Scott, Johanna Skibsrud, Sara Tilley, Guy Vanderhaeghe, M.G. Vassanji, Thomas Wharton, and Kathleen Winter.

John Hartman was born in 1950 in Midland, Ontario. He first earned a reputation for his inventive, large-scale landscapes with the exhibition Painting the Bay (1993). He gained national and international attention with Big North (an exhibition that toured Canada from 1999 to 2002) and Cities (which toured Canada and overseas from 2007 to 2009). He lives in Lafontaine, Ontario.