Winter 2023 - Retlaw


We blundered into the ghost town of Retlaw, my partner and I, on an unearthly winter day, when the daytime surface temperature in Alberta was lower than that recorded by the Mars lander. These ultra-cold days have been more frequent over the last decade. Maybe the air itself has changed as weather becomes more extreme, or maybe my senses have only now tuned into the absolute clarity of the icy atmosphere, the shift that occurs when cold is no longer a property of the air but is simply the air itself …


Amy Kaler is a professor of sociology at the University of Alberta. She has lived in Edmonton for 22 years. Her most recent book, Until Further Notice: A Year in Pandemic Time (2022), was published by the University of Alberta Press. She is also the author of academic monographs on Zimbabwean and Canadian social history and is currently working, with collaborator Dr Cory Willmott, on a group biography of Protestant missionaries in Sichuan in the first half of the twentieth century.

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