Duke is a ground-breaking achievement — text-breaking, everything-breaking. It’s breathtaking.
— Joan Sullivan, The Telegram

Winner of the BMO Winterset Award

Winner of the NL Heritage and History Book Award for Fiction

Longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Award (IMPAC) 2017

Shortlisted for the Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award for Fiction

A Vancouver Sun Top Pick for 2015

'This dense, complex work defies easy labels. The cover says “a novel,” but you’d swear it was a prose poem. Read deeper and see author and character share their last name. Is it a kind of memoir? All of the above?'...'Tilley doing Duke’s voice – repentant, unsure, dirty, loving – is one of the best ventriloquism acts you’ll come across lately.' -Jade Colbert, Globe and Mail
'For the avid reader, there’s nothing more refreshing than a book that reads like nothing you’ve read before. For its innovative structure and diction, Sara Tilley’s Duke is a very novel novel. It’s exciting to hold a book in your hands that is visibly busting out a brand new narrative form'...'the characters in this book – like the narrative structure – are dynamic, well-drawn, and memorably impressive.'-Chad Pelley, The Overcast
'A dense and challenging but wonderfully rewarding—and technically impressive—novel of (mostly) shuffled journal entries that date from June 30, 1893 to April 24, 1955, Sara Tilley’s sophomore effort had its roots in the Tilley family’s past. In her acknowledgements she mentions a 2004 visit to a property in Elliston, NL that her dad had inherited. After her father managed to pry open a stuck cupboard the two discovered “a mass of family letters, log books, postcards and ledgers, as well as magazines, school primers, medical texts and other documents dating back to the 1880s.” Composing “a work of fiction from those pages,” Tilley crafts a misadventure story, a dark family history, and a heroic tale of “Reckoning” that’s all the more affecting because it’s such a failure'…'Whatever the original found documents might have been, Sara Tilley has alchemized them and given her readers a fascinating, momentous, and complexly layered vision of the past. The novel’s a feat that any writer would be proud of and fans of literary fiction will enjoy.' -Brett Josef Grubisic, The Winnipeg Review
'Duke is a ground-breaking achievement — text-breaking, everything-breaking. It’s breathtaking.'  -Joan Sullivan, The Telegram
'A marvel of voice; living, ecstatic, precise—Tilley’s coup d'état seizes the novel form and transfigures it into a luminous performance.'  -Kathleen Winter
'Sara Tilley's Duke is an endlessly inventive, innovative, miracle of language. I read it as a fictional memoir of the Tilleys. It's a novel, too. It's a prose poem. It's a headlong torrent of interior monologues. It's earthy and gutsy and funny and sexy and sweet and sad and mad and full of love. It's that rarest of literary things, life itself etched into the printed page.'  -Wayne Johnston
'I opened Duke and the irresistible voice of a young man thirsty for adventure hurled me into the raunch and rawness of the liquor soaked Alaskan frontier, its vast forest, its amputated dreams and unforeseen revelations. Sara Tilley literally wore a mask while writing this wonderful, clowning, heart-wrenching, song of Newfoundland and the Yukon, of family as source of strength and suffering. A bravura performance.' -Martha Baillie



Cover image: John Haney & Carey Jernigan, Ghost Barn (2012) Installation view at Fieldwork, Perth, ON, May 2014 Photograph (detail) by John Haney

Design by Beth Oberholtzer

Published by Pedlar Press, 2015.