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Martha Baillie’s hypnotic novel follows Heinrich Schlögel from Germany to Canada, where he sets out on a two-week hike into the isolated interior of Baffin Island. His journey quickly becomes surreal; he experiences strange encounters and inexplicable visions as shards of Arctic history emerge from the shifting landscape. When he returns from his hike, he discovers that, though he has not aged, thirty years have passed. Narrated by an unnamed archivist who is attempting to piece together the truth of Heinrich’s life, The Search for Heinrich Schlögel dances between reality and dream, asking us to consider not only our role in imagining the future into existence but also the consequences of our past choices.
Martha Baillie is the author of four novels and has been published in Canada, Germany, and Hungary. Her poems have appeared frequently in journals such as Descant, Prairie Fire, and the Antigonish Review. Her nonfiction piece The Legacy of Joseph Wagenbach” was published by Brick: a literary journal. Her most recent novel, The Incident Report, was a Globe and Mail Best Book and was long-listed for the Giller Prize. She lives in Toronto.