Erika's
Books
in Print

available at


BOOKS:

NEWLY PUBLISHED IN PAPERBACK

The Dog by the Cradle, The Serpent Beneath: Some Paradoxes of Human-Animal Relationships - Key Porter Books March 2010.

Finalist, Writers Trust Non-Fiction prize, 2009

Nominee, B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. 2009

Available at your favourite bookstore or online from
chapters/indigo or amazon.ca and amazon.com

The book’s title recalls one of the oldest and most compelling animal stories of all time: The sad saga of a devoted greyhound executed by his master for apparently attacking the man’s sleeping child Only after he’s killed his dog, does the master find the dead body of a serpent beneath the infant’s overturned cradle—evidence not only of the dog’s innocence, but also his courage in protecting the child from a venomous snake.

With this traditional tale as a starting point, Erika Ritter embarks on a journey—both in time and space--to the very heart of “Ark-ness” and follows the twisting trail of human-animal relationships from empathy to exploitation, from devotion to detestation, from comedy to cruelty, and beyond. Most importantly, Erika traces the essential contradictions in humanity’s relationships with our fellow creatures, from prehistoric worship of the cave-bear to the latest research on the intelligence of crows, to the future of animals’ legal rights.

As well, she probes the human-animal bond with experts in animal cognition, welfare advocates, philosophers and animal rights advocates. And she paints vivid pictures of research apes in retirement, a greyhound adoption convention, a public memorial for a fallen police horse and other unforgettable images of animals among us.

In a world where we increasingly identify our pets as family members, yet annually dispose of ever more strays, execute more livestock and sacrifice countless animals to research , there are paradoxes aplenty to investigate.At a time when animals are increasingly among us and yet continually below our radar, The Dog by the Cradle, the Serpent Beneath offers observations both timely and timeless about Us and Them.

Meanwhile, for some background on her long-standing interest in and writing about animals, click on: “Animals and Ourselves” on this site, listed under “On Stage, As a Speaker”.

THE DOG BY THE CRADLE, THE SERPENT BENEATH – (2009) Non-Fiction, Original Hardcover Edition, Key Porter Books.

THE HIDDEN LIFE OF HUMANS – (1997) Novel, reissued 2009, to coincide with the publication of THE DOG BY THE CRADLE, THE SERPENT BENEATH, also from Key Porter Books.

THE GREAT BIG BOOK OF GUYS: ALPHABETICAL ENCOUNTERS WITH MEN – McClelland & Stewart (2004) Essays

RITTER IN RESIDENCE – McClelland & Stewart (1987) Essays

URBAN SCRAWL – MacMillan of Canada (1984) Essays

 

STAGE PLAYSCRIPTS: (all published by Playwrights Press, Toronto)

MURDER AT MCQUEEN – 1986 (first produced Tarragon Theatre, Toronto)

AUTOMATIC PILOT – 1980 (first produced New Theatre, Toronto)

WINTER 1671 – 1979 (first produced St Lawrence Centre, Toronto)

THE SPLITS – 1978 (first produced Toronto Free Theatre)

A VISITOR FROM CHARLESTON – 1975 (first produced Loyola College, Montreal)

*FOR OTHER PRODUCTION INFORMATION ON THESE PLAYS, AS WELL AS ON STAGE PLAYS NOT PUBLISHED,
PLEASE VISIT “ON THE STAGE”.
*FOR A LIST OF PRODUCED RADIO PLAYS,
PLEASE VISIT “ON THE AIR” )

 

SHORT FICTION:

Since 1975, numerous short stories published in:

  • Canadian Fiction Magazine
  • The Fiddlehead
  • Toronto Life
  • Chatelaine
  • Saturday Night Magazine

 

NON FICTION COLUMNS AND ARTICLES:

“Unmuzzled” – bi-monthly humour column in
Dogs in Canada magazine, 2000 to 2005.

Weekly column, The Saturday Toronto Star, 1985-87

Bi-monthly humour column, City Woman magazine, 1983-85

In addition, numerous humour articles, social and political essays, book reviews, etc. published in:

  • The Globe and Mail
  • En Route Magazine
  • Ms. Magazine
  • Canadian Forum
  • The Literary Review of Canada and other newspapers and periodicals from 1975 to the present.