There Is No Blue
Martha Baillie’s richly layered response to her mother’s passing, her father's life, and her sister’s suicide is an exploration of how the body, the rooms we inhabit, and our languages offer the psyche a home, if only for a time.
Three essays, three deaths. The first is the death of the author’s mother, a protracted disappearance, leaving space for thoughtfulness and ritual: the washing of her body, the making of a death mask. The second considers Baillie's father, his remoteness, his charm, a lacuna at the center of the family even before his death, earlier than her mother's. And then, third, shockingly, the author’s sister, a visual artist and writer living with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, who writes three reasons to die on her bedroom wall and then takes her life, just before the book the sisters co-authored is due to come out.
In this close observation of a family, few absolutes hold, as experiences of reality diverge. A memoir of cascading grief and survival from the author of The Incident Report.
“Revealing, puzzling, dazzling, The Search for Heinrich Schlögel resists reduction, rewards rereading. It draws you forward as a narrative should, but ultimately unfolds in you like poetry.” – Jamie Zeppa, Literary Review of Canada on The Search for Heinrich Schlögel
“Baillie delivers a work of magical realism that captures the experience of postcolonial guilt ... and gives voice to a silenced past.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review of The Search for Heinrich Schlögel
“A poetic journey into mystery that asks hazy questions about time, culture and one’s sense of self.” – Kirkus Reviews on The Search for Heinrich Schlögel
“The beautiful descriptions of the wild outdoors in northern Canada alone make this book worth reading. Baillie is an excellent storyteller, combining adventure with deeper elements and the characters' search for self. Highly recommended.” – Library Journal on The Search for Heinrich Schlögel
“Clara, despite her volatility, is the novel's linchpin – a creative choice that speaks to Baillie's characteristic cerebral playfulness as well as her allegiance to characters held on society's margins … Baillie's empathetic portrayal of Clara shows a mind following its own kind of logic. There's a lighter tone to this novel, so it might surprise readers how much it has to say about creativity and the fractured self.” – The Globe and Mail on If Clara
“If Clara finds Baillie at the top of her game with this complex, deftly layered new novel … a richly rewarding read to sink into for a solitary afternoon.” – The Toronto Star on If Clara