Wesseler, Marlis 1952–
Wesseler, Marlis 1952–
PERSONAL: Born 1952, in Kinistino, Saskatchewan, Canada.
ADDRESSES: Home—Regina, SK, Canada. Office—Coteau Books, 2517 Victoria Ave., Regina, Saskatchewan S4P OT2, Canada.
CAREER: Writer, 1992–. Fiction editor, Grain magazine; former teacher. Also works for Coteau Books, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
AWARDS, HONORS: Regina City Book Award, 1993, for Life Skills.
Life Skills (short stories), Coteau Books (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada), 1992.
Imitating Art (short stories), Coteau Books (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada), 1994.
Elvis Unplugged (novel), Oberon Press (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), 1998.
South of the Border (novel), Coteau Books (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada), 2005.
Also author of children's plays and monologues for the theater. Contributor of short stories to magazines, including Grain and NeWest Review; contributor to anthologies, including The Old Dance, Coteau Books, 1986; Out of Place, Coteau Books, 1991; and Lodestone, Fifth House Publishers, 1992.
SIDELIGHTS: Canadian writer Marlis Wesseler has written works ranging from short stories to novels. Her book South of the Border is a novel about college-age women Arlene and Sheila, best friends who travel from their native Saskatchewan to Mexico in the early 1970s. "In hot pursuit of one of the most vaunted ideals of the era, 'Experience,'" Cindy MacKenzie stated in her Books in Canada review of the novel, "the young women make reckless and often dangerous decisions about arranging their accommodations, hitchhiking and engaging in first-time sexual encounters." Their innocent journey in search of experience, however, is brought to an abrupt halt when Arlene is confronted with news of Sheila's death from snakebite in the Mexican jungle. Although the story later proves to be false and Sheila turns up unharmed, Arlene collapses and has to be nursed back to health by the proprietor of the hotel in Palenque where she is staying. "Alone in a way she's never imagined, let alone experienced," Francisca Goldsmith declared in her review for Kliatt that "Arlene begins to deal with the practical necessities with which she is now presented." In the novel's conclusion Arlene returns to Palenque years later with her husband and daughter to confront her memories of Sheila, who has died in the intervening years. Wesseler, wrote Misha Stone in Booklist, "brings a powerful immediacy to this surprising story of travel, friendship, and death."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 1, 2005, Misha Stone, review of South of the Border, p. 944.
Books in Canada, November, 1992, review of Life Skills, p. 50; December, 1994, review of Imitating Art, pp. 37-39; May, 2005, Cindy MacKenzie, review of South of the Border.
Kliatt, May, 2005, Francisca Goldsmith, review of South of the Border, p. 32.
NeWest Review, August-September, 1993, review of Life Skills, pp. 31-32.
Prairie Fire, autumn, 1999, review of Elvis Unplugged, pp. 235-236.
Quill & Quire, November, 1994, review of Imitating Art, pp. 26, 28.