Contemporary Canadian Literature with a Distinctly Urban Twist

Anvil Press

Atomic Road

Atomic Road

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With a Foreword by John O’Brian

October, 1962, the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Clement Greenberg, the art critic of the 20th century, is more interested in silencing his rival Harold Rosenberg than with the threat of nuclear destruction.

Greenberg is driving from New York to the Emma Lake artist colony in Saskatchewan, where he intends to shut Rosenberg up once and for all. With him is infamous Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser.

The 1950s were Greenberg’s decade. Abstract expressionism was the genre he championed. Yet by 1962, everywhere Greenberg looks he is bedevilled by Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup cans, just as everywhere Althusser looks he sees capitalist decadence. Althusser, who escaped prosecution for strangling his wife on an insanity plea, is heading to a Saskatchewan hospital for LSD therapy.

Pursuing them is Jean Claude Piche, a veteran of the conflicts in Indochina and Algeria, contracted to execute Althusser for the unpunished murder. Greenberg, however, has plans for Althusser to commit one more killing before Jean Claude gets hold of him.

Yet before this urbane trio can cross from North Dakota into Saskatchewan they meet the enigmatic arch patriot Swen, who has plans of his own.

Atomic Road charts its own comic course between historical accuracy and fictional invention.

Advance Praise for Atomic Road:

Atomic Road is compelling fiction. With its loose basis in historical fact, the story carefully spirals in and out of absurdity without losing the core of the journey. The quest draws readers in, the dynamic between the two leads holds the attention, and the resultant unusual book is sure to stick in the mind like an insightful LSD trip.” — FOREWORD REVIEWS (5-Star Review)


  • Publication: March 2018
  • ISBN: 978-1-77214-113-9
  • Pages: 176 pp.
  • Size: 5.25 x 8.25 inches

Grant Buday has published nine books, including the novels, Dragonflies, White Lung, Sack of Teeth, and Rootbound, the memoir Stranger on a Strange Island (from Main Street to Mayne Island), and the travel memoir, Golden Goa. Grant’s articles and essays have been published in Canadian magazines and quarterlies across the country, and his short fiction has appeared in The Journey Prize Anthology and Best Canadian Short Stories. While he has travelled extensively throughout the world he currently lives on Mayne Island, British Columbia, with his wife and son, where he manages a recycling depot.

Books by Grant Buday