Paardeberg, South Africa is far from Canada. In 1899, two prairie boys throw themselves into the conflict of the Second Boer War looking for soemthign their small-town lives cannot prvide. What they find amid the broken bodies and the rubble is that war is hell. With breathtaking grace, Leo Brent Robillard delivers an unstoppable story.
Leo Brent Robillard knows that questions raised by the Boer War are strikingly relevant to our times: are wars waged for political or ethical reasons; to secure diamond and gold mines or to end slavery, to protect oil shipments or to bring democracy? In prose as crisp and bracing as the Great Karoo itself, Drift examines what motivates us to volunteer to fight a war that is not our own, whether its idealism, escapism, or cynicism, and shows what happens when any ism comes gunsight to gunsight with reality. Robillard gets it, and he gets it right.
Wayne Grady, author of Breakfast at the Exit Cafe
So often it takes fiction to reveal the truths about our own history. Leo Brent Robillard’s Drift puts a human face on the plight of a soldier of the Second Boer War, a young man with A Company of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles—the “Little Green Devils”—fighting in a faraway land. Armed with his Lee-Enfield rifle, the Canadian warrior encounters new technology in the form of superior guns and observation balloons. He struggles with both the individuality of his fellow fighters, and the sudden and incomprehensible anonymity of their deaths. He learns the true cost of victory.
Rita Donovan, author of As for the Canadians
[Robillard's] prose is economical without being sparse....a style somewhat reminiscent of Hemingway, and it suits his subject well.
Winnipeg Free Press
Robillard's powers of description are poetic, while his action is tight, forceful, compelling....The result is a poignant story of war's reality and what it does to people.
Brockville Recorder and Times
Drift is a beautifully written story.
Arlene Smith, Indigo
Turnstone Press acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council, the Government of Canada, and the Province of Manitoba through Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage.