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Harry Boyd, a hard-bitten refugee from failure in Toronto television, has returned to a small radio station in Yellowknife, Northern Canada. There, in the summer of 1975, he falls in love with a voice on air, though the real woman, Dido Paris, is both a surprise and even more than he imagined. Dido and Harry are part of the cast of eccentric characters who form an unlikely group at the station. Their loves and longings, their rivalries and entanglements, the stories of their pasts and what brought each of them to the North, form the centre. One summer, on a canoe trip four of them make into the Arctic wilderness, they find the balance of love shifting, much as the balance of power in the North is being changed by the proposed Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline, threatening to displace Native people from their land. Hay brings to bear her skewering intelligence into the frailties of the human heart and her ability to tell a spellbinding story written in gorgeous prose and laced with dark humour.
Elizabeth Hay is the bestselling, award-winning author of Late Nights on Air, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her other works include A Student of Weather (finalist for the Giller Prize and the Ottawa Book Award), Garbo Laughs (winner of the Ottawa Book Award and a finalist for the Governor General's Award), and Small Change (stories). In 2002, she received the prestigious Marian Engel Award. Elizabeth Hay lives and writes in Ottawa.