By Mark Jarman
Amazon.ca’s List of 50 Essential Canadian Books
First published in 1997 to much critical acclaim, Salvage King, Ya! is a novel firmly rooted in Canada’s favourite national pastime—hockey. Critics have called Salvage King, Ya! “the great Canadian novel,” and a “postmodern Canadian classic.” Drinkwater, Jarman’s narrator, is the “heir reluctant” of the family business (the salvage company of the book’s title) and an aspiring NHL defenceman. His life hurtles between the hockey rink, the junkyard, the road, and the three women in his life: The Intended, the mesmerizing Waitress X, and ex-wife Kathy.
An Everyman, Drinkwater is approaching mid-life acutely aware of the choices and options available to him—and the ones that are slowly slipping from his reach. Fast-paced, raucous and kinetically charged, Salvage, King, Ya! is a hockey novel bursting with dynamism and originality. This is the “breakthrough” novel from the author of the short story collections 19 Knives, New Orleans Is Sinking, Dancing Nightly in the Tavern, and the memoir Ireland’s Eye. Salvage King, Ya! is a roving, luminous, rowdy, and funny novel.
What the critics have said about Salvage King, Ya!
“if it’s the best hockey book ever written, does that make it The Great Canadian Novel?”
— THE DANFORTH REVIEW
“a brilliant work . . . a postmodern Canadian classic”
— NATIONAL POST
“relentlessly, dizzyingly energetic” — GLOBE & MAIL
“funny, cluttered, driven, as if Denis Johnson had written a hockey novel” — THE STRANGER
“this is high-octane stuff: think Slapshot and Barfly and Pilgrim’s Progress rolled together and rewritten by Henry Miller and Hunter S. Thompson” — EVENT MAGAZINE
Mark Anthony Jarman is the author of Knife Party at the Hotel Europa, My White Planet, 19 Knives, New Orleans Is Sinking, Dancing Nightly in the Tavern, and the travel book Ireland’s Eye. His novel, Salvage King Ya!, is on Amazon.ca’s list of 50 Essential Canadian Books and is the number one book on Amazon’s list of best hockey fiction. His Selected Stories is forthcoming from Biblioasis Press.
He won a Gold National Magazine Award in nonfiction, has twice won the Maclean-Hunter Endowment Award, won the Jack Hodgins Fiction Prize, was shortlisted for an Atlantic Book Award, the Alistair MacLeod Prize, the Thomas Raddall Prize, was included in The Journey Prize Anthology and Best Canadian Stories, and short-listed for Best American Essays and the O. Henry Prize.
He has published in Walrus, Canadian Geographic, Brick, American Short Story, The Georgia Review, The Missouri Review, The Barcelona Review, Literatura Na Swiecie (Poland), Hobart, Washington Square, Vrij Nederland, and reviews for The Globe & Mail. He is a graduate of The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a Yaddo fellow, has taught at the University of Victoria, the Banff Centre for the Arts, and now teaches at the University of New Brunswick where he is fiction editor of The Fiddlehead literary journal.