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Mary Soderstrom's Green City: People, Nature & Urban Places was selected as one of the Globe and Mail's 100 Best Books of 2007. She is the author of Recreating Eden: A Natural History of Botanical Gardens and The Violets of Usambara. She lives in Montreal.
Mary Soderstrom is a Montreal-based writer of fiction and non-fiction. She is the author of four works of non-fiction, three short story collections, five novels and one children's book. In addition over the years she has done a wide variety of reporting on science, urbanism, politics and writing. Her blog Recreating Eden (http://marysoderstrom.blogspot.com) is an eclectic, almost-daily look at the world. Recently she also began Not So Solitary A Pleasure: A Blog about Books (http://notsosolitaryapleasure.blogspot.com) in which she talks about books she likes and doesn't like.
In November 2013 Oberon Press published her 13th book, Desire Lines: Stories of Love and Geography ISBN 13: 9780778014096. The first review in The Montreal Review of Books says: "Desire Lines revolves around a set of themes, notably the desire and geography of the title, yet each story approaches an idea in a different way. Desire lines are defined as the "paths that people take when they want to go somewhere," which "frequently have no relation to the formal layout of roads and sidewalks." The characters taking these paths are fascinating, complex, and refreshingly diverse. Soderstrom employs a wonderful economy of language, so that much is conveyed about the characters in a relatively short space."
Her latest non-fiction book is Making Waves: The Continuing Portuguese Adventure. Véhicule Press, 2010 ISBN-10: 1550652923 The book is an outgrowth of the traveling she has done in recent years for her other books. Everywhere she went--from the East coast of Africa to the West coast of India, from Brazil to Newfoundland--she found traces of the Portuguese and their descendants. Their story was little known and appreciat outside the Portuguese-speaking worldd, and Making Waves is an attempt to set that right.
Mary's other recent books include The Walkable City: From Haussmann's Boulevards to Jane Jacobs' Streets and Beyond, Vehicule Press, 2008 ISBN 978-1-55065-243-7
Kevin Plummer of The Torontist calls The Walkable City "an easy-to-read book that presents substantial ideas that will continue to percolate as the reader explores his or her city."
Mary's latest novel was published in spring 2008 by Cormorant Books The Violets of Usambara ISBN 978-1-55065-243-7
"Mary Soderstrom's The Violets of Usambara is a moving novel that explores the possibility of redemption in a morally complex world. Cutting between Canada and tension-filled Burundi, it has echoes of Graham Greene both in setting and tone, but it is above all Soderstrom's intelligent investigation of power and its absence and love over a lifetime of a marriage."Antanas Sileika
Work in progress:
Making Waves, The Portuguese Adventure (due from Vehicule Press in Fall 2010)
River Music, a novel about three generations of women Publications: Non-fiction