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Knopf Canada, 2001

"Gold, greed and great writing.  With her latest collection of short stories, The Uncharted Heart, Melissa Hardy continues her creation of luminous prose. . . . Hardy infused the landscape and characters with such life that even more stories proliferate in readers’ minds than we find on the page. The Uncharted Heart turns out to be a dazzling performance. . . . The Uncharted Heart is a remarkable evocation of events and place in Canadian history, a discerning examination of human motivation and behavior, and an adroit use of language. Melissa Hardy has an obvious place in the chart of Canadian writers.”



“These are tales meant to enthrall and entertain and they succeed, yes, magnificently. . . .their effect is haunting. They radiate with the visual splendour of dreams and the psychic force of poetry. . . . A superb collection.”

The National Post

“Beautiful snapshots from a different world. London writer Melissa Hardy is unique in her ability to capture the shifting moods of Ontario’s North. To anyone who has lived in the far reaches of the province, the details of her observations will seem exact and beautifully caught: snapshots from a different, yet not alien world. In eight tightly knit stories centered on themes of survival and endurance, Hardy brings to life a motley collection of fur traders, trappers, Hudson’s Bay Company clerks and burdened women who flooded into Northern Ontario during the Porcupine Gold Rush of the early 1900s. Although the tales are harsh and focus, often on struggle, brutality and greed, they are viewed through a prism of dreams and unrequited hopes. Hardy’s stories teem with peculiar characters and extraordinary situations. She writes compellingly of remote locations and of their often-doomed denizens: loggers, natives, trappers, subsistence farmers, unhappy immigrants and the beleaguered women who share their fates. Her attachment to the North is evidence throughout the collection as is her familiarity with it, and her tapestry of tales is the work of an accomplished writer.”

The London Free Press

“It’s fitting that a land so feral on its surface but so rich at its core should provide the setting for stories that are as bleakly realistic as they are fantastic. Stepped in oral narrative traditions, including stories from native sources, Hardy’s writing is often peppered with equal parts history and comic relief, suggesting that her work is as suited to campfire circles as it is to the page. The Uncharted Heart demonstrates Hardy’s talent for capturing a vital moment in Ontario’s history and infusing it with characters and situations that tantalize the imagination.”

Quill & Quire

The author would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council
during the writing of The Uncharted Heart.

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