20 May 2020

Phyllis Brett Young's Ricochet

Copies of Phyllis Brett Young's The Ravine, the latest Ricochet Book, were delivered yesterday. I see their arrival as another sign of spring.

Number fifteen in the series, The Ravine has had an unusual history. It was first published by W.H. Allen in 1962 under the name "Kendal Young," and yet the author's true identity was exposed in an advert on the rear dust jacket.

Sadly, Psyche never made it to celluloid. The Ravine did appear on the screen – adapted bowdlerized and bastardized as Assault (1971) – but it isn't worth your time.

The Ravine is.

I knew nothing of Phyllis Brett Young until 2007, when McGill-Queen's University Press revived her 1960 novel The Torontonians. The next year, it brought back, Young's Psyche (1959).

This new edition of The Ravine joins MQUP's reissues in shining light on a writer to be celebrated.

As Ricochet Books' Series Editor, my thanks go out to Valerie Argue, Phyllis Brett Young's daughter, who granted permission for its reissue. I thank Amy Lavender Harris for providing a very fine introduction.

The first new edition in forty-nine years, it's long overdue.

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