Nominated by:

Saint John Free Public Library, New Brunswick, Canada

Publisher of nominated edition:

McClelland & Stewart Inc.

Above All Things

Tanis Rideout      

2014 Longlist

The Paris Wife meets Into Thin Air in this breathtaking novel of love and obsession, which tells the story of George Mallory’s legendary attempt to be the first man to conquer Mount Everest – and of the remarkable woman he left behind to await news of his fate.

A captivating blend of historical fact and imaginative fiction, Above All Things moves seamlessly between the epic story of Mallory’s final expedition and a moving account of a day in the life of his wife, Ruth. Through George’s perspective, and that of the newest member of the climbing team, Sandy Irvine, we get an astonishing picture of the terrible risks taken by the men on the treacherous terrain of the Himalaya. But it is through Ruth’s eyes that a complex portrait of a marriage emerges, one forged on the eve of the First World War, shadowed by its losses, and haunted by the ever-present possibility that George might not come home. Drawing on years of research, this powerful and beautifully written novel is a timeless story of desire, redemption, and the lengths we are willing to go for honour, glory, and love.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Tanis Rideout received her MFA from the University of Guelph-Humber, and she has been a finalist for the Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers and the CBC Literary Awards. In 2006, she was named the Poet Laureate for Lake Ontario and joined Gord Downie on a tour to promote environmental justice on the lake. Sometimes referred to as the Poet Laureate of CanRock, Tanis joined Sarah Harmer’s I Love the Escarpment Tour to read a commissioned poem. She was born in Belgium, grew up in Bermuda and in Kingston, Ontario, and now lives in Toronto.

Librarian’s Comments

This debut novel offers an impressive blend of adventure, tragedy, romance, history and mystery, as it deals with obsession and divided loyalties. Tanis Rideout “uses known fact and adds imagined inner lives to slowly unravel a complex story. The result is as plausible as it is captivating” – Claire Cameron: Globe and Mail. The award winning writer and poet has produced a complex, multi-layered story featuring believable characters and lyrical language. Readers’ enthusiastic comments use words such as breathtaking, mesmerizing, gripping, unique, masterful, richly rewarding and exceptional. We feel it deserves the attention of the international literary community.

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