NORTH BATTLEFORD — The Battlefords welcomes its newest author, Miguel A. Fenrich, as Sept. 1 marked the book launch for his debut novel.
Hosted by the North Battleford Public Library, Fenrich’s debut novel, Blue, published by Supernova Press, shows a dystopian society where a brown-eyed supremacy movement has convinced the world's brown-eyed population that people with blue eyes are lazy, weak, and inferior.
“I want to get books out into the world that are urgent, powerful, and don't shy away from what needs to be said, and that’s what we're doing,” Miguel Fenrich, owner and publisher of Supernova Press, said. According to their website, Supernova Press is an indie publishing company based out of Battleford. It strives to be a modern, author-focused publishing company and has just recently opened for submissions.
During the launch, Fenrich thanked the library for hosting the event and offered greetings and remarks from Ms. Rosemarie Falk, MP for Battlefords-Lloydminster, who was unfortunately unable to attend. Reading from her official greeting: “Literature and creative arts have always been a means to not only entertain, but inspire others to reflect, share ideas and spur conversations. I applaud Supernova Press’ endeavour to spark discussions and encourage critical thinking in an effort to bring people together.”
Fenrich describes his novel Blue as a 21st-century Handmaid’s Tale and a grim reminder of what leads to dehumanization.
“Like Margret Atwood when writing The Handmaid’s Tale, I only drew from real-world atrocities that have affected minorities. I wanted to draw … not only attention to the injustice inflicted on minorities but also to bring attention to how we cannot afford to forget it."
He said his story stems from his desire to enlighten people about the reality of hatred in our society and to use his novel as a stepping stone for better conversations surrounding race relations in the country. He drew from his desire to force people to look at the reality of hatred and, hopefully, inspire change.
“During the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, I was looking for a way to help people empathize with the reality of being a minority. I decided to use something as 'simple' as eye colour to understand how easily we hold prejudices. Hopefully, people use my book to realize how silly those prejudices can be,” he said.
Fenrich spoke briefly on his upcoming novels, a historical fiction/paranormal horror novel set to release in early 2023, titled The Homesteaders, and another untitled work set to release in summer 2023. They are expected to be published through Supernova Press, who will share more details closer to the release dates. He will return to the North Battleford Public Library for a Meet the Author event on Sept. 28, hosted by SaskBooks for provincial Book Week.