Barbara Crossie, a 31-year-old relationships columnist, has been invited by her friend Harry to join a Canadian delegation to China. She agrees, on condition that they meet up with her agent, Josh, who also happens to be her long-distance lover. But things go awry on arrival when Josh simply doesn’t appear. Barbara carries on with her companions, travelling the Silk Road and eventually finding herself in the deadliest desert on earth.
Published by Signature Editions, 2007
“Leith has set out to do something more difficult than vaguely rendered satire here. (In fact, she treats CanLit rather respectfully.) What interests her is the effect of an alien culture on a mind that never tires of seeking itself in everything it perceives. Barbara’s plight is depicted convincingly… The Desert Lake works best, and most entertainingly, as an even-handed, dialogue-driven portrayal of obsession and loss.”
— Montreal Review of Books
“Barbara is learning to be a writer as she crosses that desert. Part of that process is travelling across those geographic spaces and coming to terms with those physical places that are very strange to her. And part of it is the process of learning how to write her story.”
— Linda Leith, The Desert Lake