Nonfiction Books - In Print
A Taste of Haida Gwaii: Food Gathering and Feasting at the Edge of the World
Winner (gold) of the 2016 Taste Canada Awards in the Regional/Cultural Cookbooks category
Winner (gold) of the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award.
“A love story with recipes” inspired by the people of Haida Gwaii. “A Taste of Haida Gwaii […] made me want to immediately set the book aside and email Copper Beach House on Haida Gwaii to reserve a room in anticipation of breakfasting on Susan Musgrave’s signature scrambled eggs, accompanied by a slice or two of her still-warm-from-the-oven sourdough bread, with the legendary B.C. poet herself presiding at the stove. Musgrave is a born storyteller, and A Taste of Haida Gwaii is peppered with anecdotes from a life that’s been full of incident. […] You turn the pages, moving from one mouth-watering recipe to another, the spaces in between filled with the kind of stories that one friend would regale another with over a mug of tea and a plate of freshly baked cookies, while storm winds whip through the cedars just outside the door.’ — Vancouver Sun
Read review on CanadianCookBooks.ca
Together at SoBo: More Recipes and Stories from Tofino's Beloved Restaurant
Author Lisa Ahier Foreword by Lynn Crawford
with Susan Musgrave
Random House, 2023
To know Tofino is to know SoBo, the restaurant at the heart of this magnetic West Coast surf town. Since opening as a purple food truck 20 years ago, SoBo (short for “sophisticated bohemian”) has been bringing people together with Chef Lisa Ahier’s fresh West Coast fare.
In her preface, Susan writes of meeting Lisa Ahier for the first time at Lisa’s renowned restaurant. “After preparing one after another of her masterful creations, Lisa sat down to chat. It was then that she asked if I would consider helping her finish her second book. “I can’t write,” she said, humbly. Of course she could write, I assured her between mouthfuls of Thai chicken. Then, seizing the moment — which, I hoped, would mean the chance to sample more of her dishes in the future — I said, “Send me some recipes. Let’s do this thing.”
We set up regular phone calls to go over everything in detail. These conversations became a high point of my week—they offered connection, and the longer we worked together, the more comfortable we both became, even playing off one another’s writing, channeling each other. Lisa eased into her writing voice, letting her natural humour spill onto the page. I added a smear of ranch dressing here, a glug of hot sauce there delivered with a dash of twang, spurred on by Lisa’s Southern influence. I never would have put it this way before channeling Lisa, but I haven’t had so much fun since the hogs et (sic) my little brother.”
You’re in Canada Now, Motherfucker: A Memoir of Sorts
Thistledown Press, 2005
Evocative and superbly rakish, You’re in Canada Now, Motherfucker is a generous diagnosis of the often-offbeat worlds of family, writing, travel, sex and death as interpreted through the real-life adventures of Susan Musgrave. Equally at home recounting the lore of her outlaw husband Stephen Reid, or interpreting the arcane rituals of her teenage girls, Musgrave brings to her literary essays that same invigorating freshness for which she has become known in her fiction and poetry. In settings ranging from the aching solitude of Haida Gwaii to the sweaty intensity of bandido apartments in Panama, the reader will find Musgrave musing with her legendary wit and pastiche, while creating graffiti-like impressions of the writer’s essential take on those closest to her. One of Canada’s most publicized and popular writers, Susan Musgrave is a one-of-a-kind writer, and this is the reader’s chance to get up close and personal.
Nonfiction Books - Out of Print
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Musgrave Landing: Musings on the Writing Life
Stoddart Publishing Co. Ltd. 1994
(Plus postage & handling as noted above)
Musgrave wanders in and out of her own personal space, pirouettes through the corridors of her mind, and rambles far and wide geographically, from the Musgrave Landing of the title (where her great-grandfather “landed”, built a house and farmed sheep on Saltspring Island) to Disneyland and Trinidad. And everywhere she goes she brings the fine eyes of a writer, recounting her adventures with manic disc jockeys, Death Row in a book store, overenthusiastic fans, sadistic editors, earnest would-be authors, and the Demosthenes of northern Ontario
“I, a relatively sober woman of a certain age, laughed, chuckled, snorted and guffawed my way through this collection of wry existential commentaries on day-to-day life.” Margaret Joyce (on Goodreads).
“I loved this book. It’s a collection of essays, mostly about the life of being a writer, and it’s ripe with quotes from other writers. Susan Musgrave’s wry sense of humour fuels this collection. She doesn’t take herself – or the writerly life – all that seriously. If you sometimes dream, as I do, about being a writer, you should read this book.” — “Zoom” (Reviewer on Goodreads).
Prentice Hall, 1989
(Plus postage & handling as noted above)
“At first glance, Great Musgrave is a collection of Susan Musgrave’s recent essays, with their trademark blend of the confessional and the sensational, full of Musgrave’s playful exaggerations and sense of fun. On closer examination, however, it becomes apparent that these essays are at the eve of the storm of current literary debate on such topics as the status of the self, the significance of the increasingly problematic boundaries between fiction and nonfiction, poetry and prose, high and low art. But Musgrave cuts such a colourful figure in her writing that she distracts her readers, tempting them to look for the author in and behind the work, and not at the work itself. That, however, is where Musgrave is to be found; she is a woman of letters, the creator and the product of her own creation. The subject of the book is threefold for Musgrave constructs at least three selves: Musgrave’s persona, Musgrave the personality, and the personable Musgrave.” —Nathalie Cooke, McGill University.