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North Delta gets its own Transmontanus

Mette Bach's Off the Highway scheduled for Spring 2010 release

2009.11.09 — Vancouver writer Mette Bach, who was raised in North Delta, has signed to write a book about her home town for the Transmontanus series, published by New Star Books. Off the Highway: Lessons From North Delta is on New Star's Spring 2010 list.

Bach, a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Vancouver Review, The Advocate, the Globe and Mail, WestEnder and Room Magazine, and whose popular column From Queer to Eternity is a regular feature of Xtra! West, was encouraged by Transmontanus series editor Terry Glavin to take on the subject of her home town after he read her piece "Bogged" in the Summer 2006 issue of Vancouver Review.

"I thought that article was all I had to say about my disillusioned suburban upbringing so when Terry told me he thought I had a whole book on my hands, I didnt believe him," Bach says. "Because I disliked growing up there, it took me a while to see North Delta as a legitimate landscape worthy of being properly investigated and written about. Once I started writing down my childhood stories, it became clear that this community tells a multifaceted tale of colonialism, racial tension, gentrification and environmental activism."

Glavin says Bach's investigations ended up as a surprisingly affectionate portrait of a distinct cultural geography and the place an immigrant family found within it. "Mette's journey through the imaginary terrain of her childhood and her accounts of the transformation of that terrain speak to an experience shared by a great mass of humanity today. What has happened in Burns Bog, and in the grid streets of North Delta, is happening all over the world at the moment, from Galway Town to Guangzhou."

Off the Highway will feature original images by noted photographer Mark Mushet, one of the evil geniuses behind Vancouver Review.

"We're really pleased and excited to be doing a book about North Delta," said New Star publisher Rolf Maurer. "Here in Vancouver the only time we even think of North Delta is when Burns Bog is on fire. But it's an important community which has changed a lot in just the last generation, and its story has a lot to tell us about ourselves and our relationship to the local landscape. This is going to be a great book."