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Dorris Heffron


Author of City Wolves, A Shark in the House, Rain and I, Crusty Crossed, A Nice Fire and Some Moonpennies

Piji with Dorris at Little Creek

publication of
new novel

Bear With Me

October 8th, 2024

Published by Rock's Mills Press

Don’t expect a sequel to City Wolves. Though it is, in an odd way. Nor is it about bears.

It is the story of Clare, a wildlife photographer in a long second marriage that has become dangerous. Living in Ottawa, her work takes her to far flung places and adventures in Canada. It’s not the wildlife, but heartfelt purpose that brings her to an unusual personal view of life in the oil sands city of Fort McMurray, Alberta. 

Clare escapes to visit her sister, a modern woman veterinarian with a dog project in Alberta.  The security force is donkeys. It is the wildlife gathering at the floe edge in the High Arctic that draws Clare and a younger photographer, Michelle Valberg who will become famous, to be hauled by sled, to camp on ice at the floe edge, during the summer solstice. Back home with her dogs and people in Ottawa, Clare throws a 70th birthday party with life changing consequences. She discovers the difference of love in old age, the harmony, peace and intimate pleasure it can bring. Yet the story ends with fireworks, Canadian style.


Heffron writes with the realism of David Sedaris, sharing his sense of the unique humour of complex characters. But she is unabashedly Canadian. Her ability to create unforgettable characters has been compared to Margaret Laurence. Heffron says Laurence’s work was indeed a great influence upon her. She had the good luck of Laurence becoming her friend and mentor when they shared the same editor at Macmillan, London. But the Canadian writer Heffron currently enjoys is rollicking Rick Mercer.

Heffron’s novels are full of heart, with striving human beings and animals. Her voice is like no other. She says Bear With Me is her final novel and that it is as close to memoir as she could ever allow herself to get.

Indigenous entrepreneur, David Bouchier, flew me with Lisa Schaldemose, over the oil sands of Fort McMurray in one of his airplanes, in 2014. 

ABOVE: At the floe edge, High Arctic.

BOTTOM: Inoculating a No Name Dog in Alberta.



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