A novel from the dark heart of early twentieth-century Alberta, featuring a new introduction by Dr. Lily Cho.
A bully cattle rancher upends the lives of everyone he encounters and a pandemic makes those lives even more precarious. A full century after its first publication, Cattle remains a story of brutality. A curious Canadian mixture of Hardy and Steinbeck, Cattle is built on the deep contradictions of a settler ideology, asking readers to not look away from the many modes of violence bound up in Canadian history.
Our Throwback books also give back: a percentage of each book’s sales will be donated to a designated Canadian cultural organization. Royalties from sales of Cattle benefit Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter.
Winnifred Eaton Babcock Reeve (1875-1954) was a popular early Asian North American author, journalist, screenwriter and playwright whose best known works were published under the pen-name Onoto Watanna, a controversial persona that she assumed for over two decades.
Dr. Lily Cho is the current Associate Dean, Global and Community Engagement for the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies at York University. July 2023, she will join Western University as its new vice-provost and associate vice-president (International). She is also appointed as professor in the department of English and writing studies within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Dr. Cho has published books on Chinese restaurants and the relationship between human rights and creative expression. Her book Mass Capture: Chinese Head Tax and the Making of Non-Citizens (McGill-Queens) won the Association for Asian American Studies 2023 Book Prize for Outstanding Achievement (Multidisciplinary).
Note: Invisible Publishing would like to acknowledge The Winnifred Eaton Archive, an accessible, fully searchable, digital scholarly edition of the collected works of Winnifred Eaton Babcock Reeve. The above biography, and any historical and critical material cited in our marketing materials, is sourced from their incredible website, where full credits and citation can be found.
“If you’re a fan of the hit TV series Yellowstone and its prequel 1923, you are going to absolutely love this novel.”—Lost Ladies of Lit Podcast
“I was shocked when I taught Cattle for the first time. My students found it so fresh and so immediate. The novel addresses so many contemporary issues: #MeToo, settler colonialism, a pandemic, and more. In the same year that the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed, Eaton even makes space for heroism on the part of a vulnerable Chinese man separated from his family and working for a brute of a man.”—Dr. Mary Chapman, Professor at the University of British Columbia and Director of the Winnifred Eaton Archive
Author’s comments: “The manuscript had an eccentric career in publishers’ offices. It acted like a bomb in one or two places. One New York publisher wrote me that it had caused more heated discussion and argument than any manuscript that had been in their office for years. Certain of the staff were for it. The sales end were against it. Another wrote me a mournful and fatherly letter. (He was an old friend). He deplored the subject I had chosen: he thought that my life in Alberta was ruining me in a literary way and he said that Cattle was a man’s subject. Another man urged me to choose a more popular theme for a first novel of Canada, and follow it with Cattle. One publisher wrote: “It is one of the most brutal stories I have ever read. I could not put it down till I had finished it. It gripped me; but its sheer brutality is awful, and renders the book impossible for publication.”—Winnifred Eaton Reeve in “How I Came to Write Cattle.” (Edmonton Journal, 8 Dec. 1923.)