Books & Plays
Such a Lovely Afternoon
Such a Lovely Afternoon is a dazzling debut fiction collection from award-winning Yukon writer Patti Flather.
A feisty young tomboy grapples with gender roles with sometimes hilarious results, a refugee single dad struggles for dignity in his northern community, malfunctioning compost toilet and wacky neighbours upturn a woman’s island cabin life. Against vivid landscapes from Canada’s West Coast to Hong Kong to the Yukon, Flather reveals poignant beauty, compassion and humour in everyday lives, with characters searching for identity and belonging, delving into their resilience and humanity.
Published in Fall 2022 with Inanna Publications.
“Fall into Such a Lovely Afternoon in the middle of the night. These take-no-prisoners, let-your-hair-down stories are a heart-to-heart with your BFF about love, loss, and the lives of women making themselves up in the late 20th century, choice by choice, at the edge of the world. Patti Flather’s stories are literary lightning!”
—Linda Svendsen, Guggenheim winner and author of Marine Life and Sussex Drive
“In story after story, Patti Flather sweeps aside the veil that blurs our days, giving us glimpses of the raw reality lurking behind our everyday lives: a crude remark from a friend, a brief but vicious argument, landing a dead-end job—and then it’s back to the ordinary. Her vision is like a flash of muscle under torn skin, reminding us that one of these days, maybe tomorrow, the skin is not going to heal.”
Inanna publishes fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction dedicated to feminist voices and provoking discussion and advancing feminist thought. Their editorial policy is to publish visionary books that reflect the depth, breadth and diversity of women’s lives across Canada and around the world.
A haunting, poetic play about four characters struggling to find grace and humanity, Paradise explores trauma, mental illness, addiction, and the lengths we’ll go to for personal freedom. Paradise is about an unemployed logger and his beloved dog, a young Canadian accused of terrorism, a family doctor and a spirited young woman questioning her place in the world. Each yearns to connect – like all of us – in this visceral and moving exploration of the human spirit.
“Paradise is as beautiful as it is unsettling, linking stories of peaches, snakes, dogs, limericks, and ordinary people under stress.”
– Ric Knowles, Professor of Theatre Studies, University of Guelph
“This incredible body of work is as complex as it is poetic…Flather’s work brilliantly constructs a narrative in which we hear at the same time echoes of John Milton’s powerful Paradise Lost and Joni Mitchell’s popular ‘Big Yellow Taxi.’”
– Carolina Miranda, Feminine Harbor
An intelligent comedy about love-weary people and fractured families struggling to become whole. Since her divorce, Bea wants to date plenty of men, complain about her ex and cancel Christmas. Her witty teen son Stephen is determined to create a new Truth of Christmas with stolen street signs, Santa hat and lights. Gordon, a shy math teacher, chats nightly with his late wife but can’t reach his alienated daughter. Erik the jilted forestry executive clings to New Age spiritualism while flirting with Bea. Her proudly single friend Neda aches for her son at university and mother far away in Iran.
Street Signs was a finalist in the Herman Voaden Playwriting Competition and selected for development at Banff Playwrights Colony. Previously titled The Soul Menders, it premiered in Whitehorse, Yukon (Gwaandak Theatre/The Guild), directed by Chris McGregor. Featured as part of the PLEDGE project (Production Listing to Enhance Diversity and Gender Equity), a resource for finding large cast plays by Canadian women playwrights.
Where the River Meets the Sea
Jade and her mom Lu-Anne are finally home, back on the West Coast with a new high school, new store, new life. No more moving, running, hiding. But Lu-Anne has a beau for the first time in years. There’s a girl stranger poking round. Jade discovers a magical secret along a seemingly forgotten shorefront. Will coming home tear mother and daughter apart for good?
Winner of the Theatre BC National Playwriting Competition, Where the River Meets the Sea premiered in Whitehorse, Yukon (Gwaandak Theatre/Nakai), directed by Vinetta Strombergs, and was produced in North Vancouver, B.C. (Presentation House Theatre).
West Edmonton Mall
Is there life without the Fantasyland Hotel? Not for Christine. West Edmonton Mall is a one-woman play about isolation, go-nowhere jobs and been-nowhere boyfriends…and it’s about getting from the Yukon to the Polynesian Room in the Fantasyland Hotel in the middle of winter before you turn 30.
West Edmonton Mall premiered in Whitehorse and toured the Yukon, directed by Michael Clark, featuring Moira Sauer (Gwaandak Theatre/Nakai), then to Toronto’s Hysteria Festival (Buddies in Bad Times). An earlier version was on Winnipeg stages (Sarasvati Productions).
An excerpt is featured in She Speaks: Monologues for Women, edited by Judith Thompson, from Playwrights Canada Press.
Patti adapted West Edmonton Mall into a CBC radio drama, a 2004 finalist for the Writers’ Guild of Canada Canadian Screenwriting Awards.
It’s nearly winter solstice when Henry gets out of jail, ready to straighten out his life. Of course it’s not that easy: his old buddies just want to party, his girlfriend Rosie’s moving ahead of him, and then there’s the ghost of Johnnie, everyone’s hero, who just won’t leave the northern lights.
Sixty Below premiered at the Native Canadian Centre in Toronto (Native Earth Performing Arts,) directed by Vinetta Strombergs). This production was nominated for seven Dora Mavor Moore Awards, small theatre division, including outstanding new play and outstanding production. It also toured the Yukon/NWT in 2000 (Gwaandak Theatre/Nakai/SYANA), directed by Floyd Favel. An earlier version premiered at the Yukon Arts Centre, Whitehorse (Nakai), directed by Allen MacInnis.
Edited by Donna-Michelle St. Bernard & Yvette Nolan
A collection of scenes from diverse contemporary works by Canadian playwrights that reflect the country’s artistic landscape through a breadth of themes, styles, cultures, regions, and creative practices. It includes a scene from Patti Flather’s play Paradise, and work from other northern Canadian playwrights Reneltta Arluk and Leonard Linklater. This collection from Playwrights Canada Press can be used both as a source for actors and students, or as a primer on diverse Canadian theatre and an entry point into new works.
She Speaks: Monologues for Women
Edited by Judith Thompson
An excerpt from Patti Flather’s play West Edmonton Mall is featured in this anthology from Playwrights Canada Press.
“A monologue must give voice to those who have been silenced. The speaker must urgently need to speak, to proclaim, to persuade, to incite, to inspire, to agitate, to fabricate, to contaminate or whitewash, to justify; the speaker needs approval, or absolution, or acclaim, or worship, or laughter or sympathy. The monologue can only happen if the speaker has an audience. The monologue is ultimately the electric interaction between the audience and the speaker.” —from the introduction.
Staging the North: Twelve Canadian Plays
Edited by Sherrill Grace, Eve D’Aeth & Lisa Chalykoff
This anthology includes the stage play Sixty Below, by Patti Flather and Leonard Linklater. Staging the North, published with Playwrights Canada Press in 1999, is out of print, but look for it in a library near you or find copies online. It also includes Yukon plays by Sharon Shorty and Philip Adams.
Out of print but may be available online.
“Along with Colonial Tongues, Sixty Below is the most complex and ambitious of the plays collected here. This complexity arises not only from the inter-relations of its characters, but also from the hybridity of its sources, style, and presentation; it is a play that tries to live in two worlds and does a remarkably successful job of it.”
– Sherrill Grace, Co-Editor, in “Degrees of North: An Introduction,” in Space and the Geographies of Theatre.