The Road to Vermilion Lake
by Vic Cavalli
Forthcoming, July 10, 2017
“Vic Cavalli takes us on a wild ride along The Road to Vermilion Lake. Set against a grand landscape, the novel explores the intersection of emotion and geography, reality and metaphysics. Can love rock your world at a seismic level? Cavalli expels all doubts.”
—Loranne Brown, author of The Handless Maiden
The Road to Vermilion Lake
by Vic Cavalli
Release date: July 10, 2017
Praise for The Road to Vermilion Lake
“That documentary and myth are in active tension defines the form and appeal of the novel. I especially liked the documentary dimension, the extended and precise detail–on native flora, engineering, geology, first aid protocols, pop music, sacred music, ballistics, and much more. All this against a story line of transcendent mystery.”
—Laurie Ricou, Professor Emeritus of Canadian Literature, University of British Columbia
“The greatest strength of this work lies in the author’s sure handling of the symbolic landscape. The novel works on at least two levels: a relatively conventional external plot involving the inevitable struggles of two lovers from drastically different backgrounds, and a highly suggestive internal movement, governed by a set of symbols linking the subjective and objective worlds. At times, this approaches an unsettling magic realism, in which Vermilion Lake and environs mirror the interior struggles and joys of the protagonists—for example, in the synchronicity between potentially destructive seismic activity and the development of the romance—creating a slightly eerie (but always intriguing) sense that the world in which these characters live and move and have their being decidedly transcends mere geologic data. This mirroring, combined with the suggestive binary patterning of characters and events, helps produce an elusive atmosphere that effectively reinforces the work’s spiritual convictions as these work themselves out in the plot.”
—Dr. Stephen Dunning, specialist in both Canadian and contemporary British literature.
About the Author
Vic has been teaching English at the university level since 1987, and Creative Writing at the university level since 2001. As a writer and visual artist he has always been interested in exploring the themes of generation and regeneration; this is clear in his poetry and short fiction publications throughout the years, but in his novel The Road to Vermilion Lake, with sincere gratitude he believes he’s been given the opportunity to collect and focus into a single unified surge everything he has learned.
Vic Cavalli grew up in Vancouver B.C. surrounded by narratives of immigration and the Canadian wilderness, the arts and the trades. His Swiss mother (who spent her youth in Smithers, B.C.) taught sewing for most of her life and was a professional seamstress. His Italian father (who spent the prime of his youth gold mining in the Yukon) was an excellent musician, carpenter, and master welder who literally signed his finished projects with his welding rod as if they were paintings. Vic’s childhood home was filled with music, art, large house parties (optimally with two or three accordions, a mandolin and a guitar), Italian songs, wine, and spaghetti dinner feasts. Within this context, he and his father lived for the weekends and summer holidays when they would camp and fish in some of the most beautiful settings imaginable: the rivers and lakes of the Interior of British Columbia, and the Pacific ocean shoreline from Horseshoe Bay to Squamish, and off the eastern shore of Vancouver Island.
Also, Vic was mentored as a boy in state of the art photography by his uncle Lucius, who had hiked the Alps as a young man and had photographs of newly discovered species of wildflowers published in scientific journals in his early teen years. He’ll never forget the 35mm camera Lucius gave him and his patient instruction.
During the 1960s, in secondary school, Vic focused on the visual arts and music (fronting a couple of rock bands), plus studied ceramics on Saturdays at The Vancouver Art School. After high school he worked for seven years at various manual labor jobs: operating machines and driving forklifts in factories, building steel fishing boats, and logging—setting chokers and falling trees. Eventually, taking the advice of an educated friend, Vic signed up for first-year College. He vividly recalls that friend’s then puzzling admonition: “Read some Russian novels.” He had inspiring professors, and he immersed himself in his formal education and completed a B.A. and soon after an M.A.