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ISBN: 9780888016775
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Yams do not exist

Farinata Feck, a poet of mixed heritage, is a man of many appetites; yet he is most consumed by the search to find his romantic ideal. Yo-yoing between Regina and Winnipeg, Farinata crosses paths with colonial ghosts, cosplay enthusiasts, a Faulknerian gossip, a rogue tree-cop, and a sweet potato activist. With equal parts playfulness and decadence, Garry Thomas Morse renders the Beckettish adventures of the lovelorn libertine with hypnotic surrealism. A dizzying display of literary opulence and allusion, Yams Do Not Exist finds footholds in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, footnoting a twisting, prairie roadmap to romance, by turns hellish and sublime.

Product Length: 8.5000 in
Product Width: 5.5000 in
Product Height: 0.5000 in
Product Weight: 0.3000 kg
Advanced Praise
In the spirit of Beckett, Kafka, and Margaret Laurence, these stories reinvent narrative to combine the tall tales of the prairie with the post-prairie mindscape of the 21st century. As Farinata Feck undertakes a romantic quest that flings him from one parodic adventure to another, the point of Morse's satire is wickedly sharp, yet always sweetly tempered by his generous acceptance of our human failings … and his kick-ass sense of humour.

—Catherine Hunter

Related in dazzling prose, Farinata's picaresque adventures transpose whole worlds of art, poetry, and music onto the dreamscapes of the prairies. Morse's pyro-technique produces a marvel of witty discord. 
—Meira Cook

Book Club Questions
  • 1. Is Farinata Feck a likeable protagonist? Why or why not? What does he bring to the landscape of contemporary Canadian fiction that’s different or memorable?
  • 2. How reliable do you find the narrative voice? What is their attitude towards Farinata and how does it impact your perception of him?
  • 3. Farinata suffers from a mild form of bipolarism. Throughout the book and his journey across the prairies, he tries to find anchors to help centre his mind and maintain his mental composure. What are some of the things that succeed in grounding Farinata? What are some of the things that unmoor him?
  • 4. Are you familiar with Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy? If not, after reading Yams, what is your overall impression of what Dante’s book might be about? If yes, what parallels do you see between it and Yams Do Not Exist?
  • 5. The novel is heavy with intertextual references and footnotes. Did this add to or take away from your experience of reading the book? Please explain.
  • 6. Yams Do Not Exist is a work of “prairie surrealism”; unpack what characteristics you think a book needs to fit in this category and find examples from the book that demonstrate it. How does this compare to the typical portrayal of the prairies that you’ve come across in other books/media?
  • 7. The novel documents Farinata’s search for his romantic ideal. Describe the kind of woman you think fits this ideal, and the amount of power/agency she might have. Do you think his final partner fits these criteria?
  • 8. What do you think the novel is saying about the power of imagination and creativity in the face of mental illness?
  • 9. The book is divided into episodic snapshots of Farinata’s life. Which one was your favourite?
  • 10. This novel strongly emphasizes literary style, sometimes more than subject matter or storyline. How does this kind of writing compare to your experiences with Canadian fiction?