"A totally absorbing read."
After teaching at St. Peter's College in Muenster, SK, for 19 years, Barbara has now moved back to Edmonton, AB, and shares her townhouse and its tiny perfect kitchen with her husband and their much-beloved pets. Her first book, restless white fields (NeWest 2012), won the 2013 Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book of the Year in Alberta and the Saskatchewan Arts Board Poetry Book Award. Her debut novel, Want (Palimpsest Press 2018), was a finalist for the Regina Public Library’s Book of the Year Award in 2019. Her second novel, The Winter-Blooming Tree, will be released in October 2021 by Palimpsest Press.
Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild
The Writers’ Union of Canada
Writers’ Guild of Alberta
The Winter-Blooming Tree
Lyrical, sassy, and wry, The Winter-Blooming Tree is an intimate, poignant rendering of a ‘cold season’ in a marriage of many years. Langhorst portrays her characters’ inner lives and daily tussles with life’s challenges during a flashpoint of familial crisis with compassion and warmth. The Winter-Blooming Tree is also a story of the north. The novel’s lush, sensory world with its “tall dark spruce,” “waving pines,” “pale ribs of aspen and papery birch” and forests in which “deer and foxes slipped by, brief shadows in sunlight” offers much reading pleasure. A rich meditation on memory, and how past trauma and grief figure in the present; set against this, and woven poetically throughout, is forgiveness, and hope. Langhorst’s characters and their world will stay with me for a long time. A totally absorbing read.
— JEANETTE LYNES, author of The Small Things That End the World & The Factory Voice
The Winter-Blooming Tree takes us into a household of missed communications and misread silences. At the heart of the story is Ursula, who’s sealed herself off emotionally from those who love her and even, heartbreakingly, from herself. In shining prose, this brave novel makes a close exploration of a troubled family, and of one woman’s fear and confusion as she struggles to understand the layers of her own psyche. Like Ursula and her family, readers will feel the tension of standing at the water’s edge, readying themselves for a bracing dive.
— LEONA THEIS, author of If Sylvie Had Nine Lives
A dream kitchen. An idyllic life on the Canadian Prairies. The untangling of generations of secrets. In her debut novel Want, Barbara Langhorst reconsiders the family drama in the age of climate change and global conflict.
Funny and crisp, Want is the brilliantly relatable story of a woman who has to choose between the lifestyle she’s always wanted and the one that just may mean her family’s survival. Barbara Langhorst’s Want will keep you laughing and guessing until the end.
A cast of characters we can all recognize - trying to hide a secret which almost destroys them. What we all 'Want' is peace of mind and acceptance. Langhorst weaves this pathway - both for the reader and the characters she creates.
— CAROL ROSE DANIELS
In comical parody and solemn realism, Want constructs a cogent narrative of our time. It compellingly speaks of a home that is lost and ardently sought. Its nimble wit and strong realism unnervingly depicts a world dangling, personally and environmentally, on the edge of disaster.
— DENNIS COOLEY
Want is an intimate meditation on our modern spiritual dilemma: what it means to both want and to be found wanting. Barbara Langhorst offers a witty account of interiors and interiority, an illumination of all the places we call home.
— MÉIRA COOK
This timely novel turns corners unexpectedly, like most renovations. An engaging and humorous family portrait of life on the Canadian Prairies where past collides with present and “want” leads to what really matters. Brimming with energy—from the everyday to the otherworldly—a story packed with feeling and light.
— CATHERINE GRAHAM
restless white fields
Barbara Langhorst’s unsentimental sequence of experimental poems revisits profound loss.
IN THE PRESS
Oh, this is a rollicking ride of a novel as a woman buffeted by the terrors of the modern world tries alternately to buy or run her way out of the collapse to come.
Saskatoon Star Phoenix, Oct. 18, 2018