Atlantic Books Today No. 91- Summer edition

Page 1

NO. 91

Compliments of Atlantic Canadian publishers

atlantic books TODAY



Publications Mail Agreement 40038836

DEEP BIBLIOTHERAPY Why reading is still the best diversion

INDIGILIT Indigenous-authored stories are gifts

Welcome back

to the great outdoors


Take us with you wherever you go.

Mount Carleton, NB (photo: Kelci MacDonald)

Contents Number 91 | Summer 2020


Author Profile


4 Messages from our editors and our CMO

17 The art of getting lost


32 The Fiddlehead Moment

7 Books in the Time of Corona

Publishing was never about the bottom line, but in challenging times its brand is all about building community through storytelling by Chris Benjamin

10 A time of bibliotherapy In the age of binge-watching, books are a deeper immersion by B H Lake

13 IndigiLit Indigenous-authored stories from all genres are a gift by Chris Benjamin

A conversation with Lesley Choyce, 100-time author by RC Shaw

In Conversation 21 Remaking the music memoir When Séan McCann shared the page with the love of his life, everything changed by Gillian Turnbull

Food 25 Cooking stories Atlantic Canada’s cookbook shelves are growing with our culinary scene by Gabby Peyton

27 Serving tradition Following an old recipe is taking a portal to the past by Alix Bruch

An overdue study of 20th-century NB literary life

35 Acadian Driftwood A searing and compelling tale of how the British tried to erase the Acadians

36 In Defense of Julian Assange Counterarguments to accusations against Julian Assange

38 Pivot Point A poetic work of art about a canoe trip

39 Silver Linings ON THE COVER Alan Syliboy’s “Male Mi’kmaw Brain With Head Dress,” from Materiality and Perception in Contemporary Atlantic Art, appears courtesy of the artist, Goose Lane Editions and Beaverbrook Art Gallery. Syliboy says of this work: “Several years ago I collaborated with prominent neurosurgeon Dr. Ivar Mendez. When he first looked at my paintings, he was amazed by the resemblance of their shapes and colours with the histological slides of the brain that are routinely prepared with fluorescent dyes in his research laboratory. Further discussions with Dr. Mendez inspired me to produce a series of paintings related to the brain, such as this large-format painting with a prominent yellow background.”

A deeply personal exploration of gratitude

40 Book briefs

Young Readers 46 Young readers’ reviews NUMBER 91 | SUMMER 2020


Atlantic Books Today MESSAGES

In Loving Memory of Hugh Creighton (1950-2019)

Interim editor’s message During yet another day of isolation, someWell. My year as editor sure didn’t finish as thing simple yet beautiful bloomed amidst the expected. ad nauseum surfing, the online workout blitzes The year started well enough. Late 2019, the and never-ending binge watching. I have a friend spring (and my final) issue was well planned, a who lives across the country. She’s very sick. I’ve 64-page testament to authors and Atlantic publishbeen reading to her aloud every night, via phone, ers, packed with as many titles as I could cram in. through the words of another. It feels a more intiJanuary 2020, the magazine theme, “The mate way to be with her, when I can’t be with her, Unexpected,” was embraced by writers. By late than I’ve ever experienced. February, articles flooded my inbox. Early March, I I’m not alone. Authors worldwide have taken to readied to hunker down with our graphic designer reading books aloud, bringing storytelling to ears to lay out the issue, just like last time. Except we and eyes en masse, digitally. The pleasure of the never did. story by voice. We forgot, and now we’ve rememThe world hit pause. Seemed the theme for the bered. How unexpected. spring magazine was prescient, and we were now Karalee, who can’t be Thank you to the Atlantic Books Today team living it. The unexpected. bothered with her hair. (Alex, Chantelle, Lisa, Chris, Gwen and the late I finished my year, without finishing the magaHugh Creighton), the many writers and authors zine, and editor Chris Benjamin returned to make who worked with me, the Atlantic publishers, and to you, most lemonade from the lemon-like reality of most everything on hold, precious of all, the readers. It’s been a wonderful year. including publishing. Karalee Clerk My worldview is and will always will be built by books. I worried for them in the new isolation normal, competing as never before for attention amongst the lure of everything shiny and digital. I needn’t have. Humans. They’re filled with surprises.

CMO’s message Creators are still writing and illustrating It’s great to see this magazine in production the next crop of great local books, all while despite the challenges all around us right learning new technology, hosting virtual now. It reaffirms the importance of work readings and events. done by the #ReadAtlantic community— Producers are polishing pending titles, creators, producers and providers—as well as coordinating printing and transportation, of the core value of books. while maintaining the safety and wellness of The notion of time itself has shifted, their staff. where we spend our time, who we share our Local bookstores, libraries and event time with and what we choose to do with coordinators, our #ReadAtlantic Providers it. Spending more time with family has are meeting readers at the curb, on their been the real silver lining for me. We will Alex, in the scrappy little greenhouse he doorstep and through their digital devices in know each other better from this. We have has built since social distancing started. brand new ways. had great adventures exploring new activities If you can, it is an important time to suparound the house. We’ve rediscovered some port all members of the #ReadAtlantic community. You can do so forgotten favourites; local books have been our trusty guides! simply by reading great local books. Books are also providing a much-needed break from the news Please take a minute to visit our new website, cycle, an offscreen mental escape, beyond some of the other loomwhere you can browse our special “mini-collections,” download ing pressures, like economics. free samples, find available titles from your local bookstore or It is important, however, to address that economic pressure, library or buy online from our publishers. especially on a small cultural industry like local books. The reacAlex Liot tion and resilience of the #ReadAtlantic community has been outstanding. 4

Editor’s message


Dear Atlantic Books Today reader, the stories now at your fingertips do indeed deal, conceptually, with “the unexpected.” But no matter how hard smart people think about the unexpected, real life tops it. Other than my introductory piece on how life and work has changed for book professionals in the time of COVID-19, this entire issue was written Chris, snug in his home office, kids before states of emergency and dog on the other side of the were declared across our curtain. region. The work remains the same, but takes on a different meaning. We must pay proper respect to the weight of world events. I want to acknowledge the enormity of loss in life, the risks essential workers take each day, and the peril of our economic situation, which will likely worsen before it improves. I am also compelled to acknowledge that as our economy has slowed and stalled, so has our unsustainable impact on the natural world. That creates a difficult piece of mental gymnastics I won’t dive into too deeply, other than to say, I’m happy to write about books right now. Books have long held me in awe, with their power to make worlds and shape this one. In a time when our experiences have become so geographically limited, books can safely traverse any land, space or timescape. They won’t answer every question, but they’ll pose better ones, and kickstart the emotional journey we heroes need, if we want to live rich lives without leaving big footprints. Perhaps that is one unexpected lesson from all this: the time to read is always. Chris Benjamin

Atlantic Books Today is published by the Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association (, which gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Canada Book Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage. Opinions expressed in articles in Atlantic Books Today do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Board of the Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association.


Publications Mail Agreement No. 40038836 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association Atlantic Books Today Suite 710, 1888 Brunswick Street Halifax, NS B3J 3J8

In our last issue, we mistitled Douglas Gary Freeman’s book The Exile. It is actually called Exile Blues (page 60). And the author of 30 Years of Failure, Robert MacNeil, is not the same Robert MacNeil who retired as a news anchor and co-created The MacNeil/Lehrer Report (page 57). Our apologies to both authors.


Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association

Chief Executive Officer

Lisa Harrison

Chief Marketing Officer

Alex Liot

Editors Graphic Designer Project Manager

Karalee Clerk Chris Benjamin Gwen North Chantelle Rideout

Printed in Canada. This is issue number 91 Spring 20. Atlantic Books Today is published twice a year. All issues are numbered in sequence. Total Atlantic-wide circulation: 100,000. ISSN 1192-3652 One-year subscriptions to Atlantic Books Today are available for $15 ($17.25 including HST). For a special offer on a 2-year subscription with a bonus canvas tote bag for $25 ($28.75 including HST), visit and use code ABT91A. Please make cheques payable to the Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association and mail to address below or contact for subscription inquiries.

Phone: 902-420-0711 Fax: 902-423-4302 @abtmagazine



Reading Time

Family Time



FEATURE Atlantic Books Today

in the Time of Corona Publishing was never about the bottom line, but in challenging times its brand is all about building community through storytelling by Chris Benjamin


riday, spring in St. John’s, Bridget Canning is supposed to be at a mall book signing. Instead, she’s preparing a video reading for her publisher, Breakwater Books’, YouTube channel. Her performance is from Some People’s Children, her second novel, a coming-of-age tale dealing with family secrets and community gossip. “Breakwater hustles all the time,” Canning says, “Planning signings, readings, festivals.” All cancelled, on hold or shifted online. Despite the fact that time is the one luxury many people have more of in the time of COVID-19, selling books has become a lot more challenging. Publishers, retailers, writers, literary journals—all the people in the book industry—are struggling. The financial hit has been significant. During an April 3 broadcast of CBC’s The Sunday Edition, Biblioasis publisher Daniel Wells told host Michael Enright, “We’ve seen on the press side, in trackable sales in Canada, about a 76 percent drop in sales over the last two weeks.” More than three-quarters of sales. Talk about a gut punch for an industry with razor-thin margins. Wells called it “a desperate decline in revenue.” Rebecca Rose, owner and president of Breakwater Books in St. John’s, sent her staff home on March 18, and most of them still work from there. “Just myself and the operations manager are coming in a couple times a week,” she says. “We’re starting to see the impact. “We don’t have any independent bookstores anymore. Indigo is closed and cancelled its orders. The only [remaining book] retailer is Costco, which has a few books from local publishers.” With commerce shifting almost exclusively online, Amazon has deprioritized books to focus instead on “household staples,

medical supplies and other high-demand products,” meaning reduced orders and longer shipping times. And yet, people are still making books. They are being written, edited, designed, sold and shipped to readers’ doors. Many people have found themselves with unprecedented time on their hands, and a lust for the deep escapism that even streamed shows—sometimes laden with ads, popups or hyperlinks—can’t provide. For Breakwater, production has been the least affected aspect of business. Rose’s team is still editing and designing. The catalogue is mostly the same. “We postponed one field guide because travel and tourism will not be there this summer.” That’s not necessarily representative of the industry. “A lot of publishers are postponing spring releases,” Rose says. “The titles are just as likely to get lost in the fall though, so we felt it better to proceed as planned.” Nimbus Publishing and Vagrant Press in Halifax has done more shuffling of its planned releases, but publicist Karen McMullen says they’ve still got plenty keeping the whole staff’s home offices busy. They decided to proceed with their most anticipated release of the spring, One Good Reason, a memoir by Great Big Sea’s Séan McCann and his partner Andrea Aragon. “Indigo was planning events for it, which became Indigo Instagram Live, and it was extremely popular—they were very charming.” Another spring release is financial planner Christine Ibbotson’s timely Don’t Panic! How to Manage Your Finances and Financial Anxieties During and After Coronavirus. “We managed to turn it around very quickly,” McMullen says. “We’re still shipping books from our warehouse.” There’s been a shift in reader focus, she says, with booming demand for children’s books, especially activity and learning books. The pandemic has also brought out our yearning NUMBER 91 | SUMMER 2020


Atlantic Books Today FEATURE

Oak Island’s lost treasure. Prince Edward Island’s supernatural omens. Atlantic Canada’s natural history. Our Time to… Discover collection opens the catacombs and sets you on a course of understanding our region’s greatest mysteries.

6/12/17: The Halifax Explosion John Boileau MacIntyre Purcell, $22.95

Atlantic Canada’s Greatest Storms Dan Soucoup Nimbus, $21.95

Listening for the Dead Bells Marian Bruce Island Studies Press, $18.95

The Mystery Ships of Nova Scotia John Grant Breton Books, $16.95

Oak Island and its Lost Treasure Graham Harris Formac Publishing, $19.95

Quarantine, What Is Old Is New, 2nd Ed. Ian Arthur Cameron New World, $22.50

Restigouche: The Long Run of the Wild River Philip Lee Goose Lane Editions, $22.95

Shaped by Silence Rie Croll ISER, $29.95

Shipwrecked: North of 40 Robert MacKinnon Boularderie Island Press, $19.95

The Imperilled Ocean Laura Trethewey Goose Lane Editions, $22.95

Turning Points Paul Bennett MacIntyre Purcell, $22.95

We All Expected to Die Anne Budgell ISER, $26.95



Sample • Borrow • Buy 8

for survivalist knowledge. Eating Wild in Eastern Canada, released by Jamie Simpson in 2018, has become a top seller. However, several books have been delayed, which could make for a very book-busy late summer and early fall. That presents a challenge, but an exciting one. “People will be needing books,” McMullen says. “My job is making sure everybody gets the attention they deserve in a tight media landscape. We have six fiction titles from June to November, and it would usually be three.” In the meantime, publishers are working to shift distribution and promotion online. Nimbus’ marketing team meets twice weekly to not only check in on the working-from-home experience, and maintain their sense of teamwork, but also to strategize on digital-marketing opportunities and figure out technical details like livecasting an interview using split screens while allowing viewer comments on social media. Authors who have had events cancelled have a variety of new opportunities online. Some have received funding under the National Arts Centre’s #CanadaPerforms initiative to livestream performances of their work. Reading work aloud for a room can always be awkward, and livestreaming is, if anything, less intimate. But instead of reading for a few dozen friends and fans, livestreams are often reaching audiences in the thousands. For children’s book authors, there’s the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Bibliovideo, an interactive YouTube channel featuring book trailers, author interviews and readings. Many individual publishers have also ramped up output on their blogs and

Photo by Sheilagh O’Leary

Bridget Canning misses coffee shops and trails, places where she gets inspiration for dialogue.

FEATURE Atlantic Books Today

podcasts, discounted e-books with a greater share of sales going to authors or started online book clubs. “We’re doing online workshops, livestream readings, and participating in more pages promoting authors nationally and internationally,” says Rose. “And we’ve prioritized the conversion of our books to e-books and audiobooks.” Breakwater has also taken the pandemic as an opportunity to convert its backlist to digital formats. “We’ve signed on with more e-book distributors and are working with websites like All Lit Up and 49th Shelf, and using social media more, to promote our titles. We’ve offered the media dramatic readings on the radio. We’ve had a good response.” Many publishers are also participating in Access Copyright’s Read Aloud Canadian Books program, in response to requests from educators and librarians seeking permission to record readings of authors’ works for “online story time.” Participating publishers are waiving licensing fees as a public good, supplying parents and teachers who are trying to educate and entertain. Rose doesn’t expect these efforts to completely replace lost revenues. It’s more about maintaining connections between author and reader, that sense of community that stories create. Nimbus’ McMullen has been pleasantly surprised by some of the opportunities that have emerged from the new reality. They received an inquiry from Halifax’s Waegwoltic Club seeking a speaker via Zoom to entertain their members. Enter beloved Cape Breton novelist Lesley Crewe. “It’s a lot of figuring out who works for what events and audiences,” McMullen says. “Half the battle is letting people know the content is there, and how to find it—directing people to resources.” Bridget Canning is grateful for her publisher’s efforts. “Breakwater authors get 100 percent of e-book sales, which is very kind,” she says. “For my first novel, it was months before the e-book came out. Now it’s out first. I had to dig around to find my old Kobo charger.” She notes though that even digital savvy publishers won’t reach as many readers as before, with spotty internet and variable access to wifi, cell service and devices. “I will be hygienically signing copies of the book when it’s ready to be shipped out.” In the meantime, she’s happy to have teaching work, as well as a screenplay to write—her first novel, The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes, has been optioned for a movie. But she misses coffee shops and walking trails where she can hear human dialogue as inspiration. “It’s a stimulation loss.” Rose vows that when things return to normal, Breakwater will host many big launch parties and in-person readings. “Fall could be a really heavy season,” she says. “In the meantime, everyone stay home and read books.” ■ CHRIS BENJAMIN is the managing editor of Atlantic Books Today. He has a collection of short stories (Boy With A Problem) being published this Fall.

No Place for a Woman


Brimming with insight and wit, No Place for a Woman opens an illuminating window on life in twentieth-century Newfoundland, and preserves the work of a truly original Newfoundlander. “Manuel’s stories are lively, direct, and fresh. Her audacity and emotional complexity make her a character worthy of a novel.” – ELIZABETH HAY

The Invisibles


The fascinating backstory of the Royal Newfoundland Companies while enhancing our understanding of the role they played in Newfoundland history and the lives of our communities. “Candow knows how to grab our attention… The Invisibles fills a real gap in Newfoundland’s 19th century military and political history, and story.” – JOAN SULLIVAN

Bottoms Up


Bottoms Up is the story of alcohol in Newfoundland and Labrador, and reveals how the drink helped shape so much of the province’s culture. Distilling four centuries of fact and anecdote, Sheilah Roberts Lukins serves up a revealing survey of our fascination with good spirits.


“The need for critical writing about the Olympics has never been more important.” — Dave Zirin, The Nation

NOlympians Inside the Fight Against Capitalist Mega-Sports in Los Angeles, Tokyo & Beyond By Jules Boykoff



Atlantic Books Today FEATURE

A time of bibliotherapy In the age of bingewatching, books are a deeper immersion by B H Lake

The question lingers: why bother? Why bother to read fiction in a time when nearly everything seems to push us away from it? Why bother reading when the vast majority of entertainment now requires no participant input? One cannot help but recall the videotape cartridge at the centre of Infinite Jest—a viewing experience so pleasurable that it renders those who watch incapable of doing anything else, including eating or sleeping, until the viewer dies in front of the screen.

Reading, a mental turn on


n a 1996 Harper’s Magazine essay, “Perchance to Dream,” Jonathan Franzen listed reasons for both despair and hope for the future of the substantive, social novel. It was a time in which television and movies had taken over and the Internet had begun to rise. He looked with longing back at the day and age in which “a new book by Thackeray or William Dean Howells was anticipated with the kind of fever that a late-December film release inspires today.” He bemoaned the lack of interest in serious literary fiction in an age when the average reader was beginning to demand easier and lazier fun. The essay ends on a note of hope that literature still has a place, even in the “brave new McWorld” that was 1996. Franzen’s concerns are even more relevant in 2020. There are new additions to his list: namely, the omnipresence of the Internet and the effect it has had on everything required for serious reading—solitude, quiet, a private thought-life and the enjoyment of spending time alone. The essay was later retitled “Why Bother?” for the collection How To Be Alone and this title better suits the sensibilities of the piece.


In a not-so-distant past, one did not turn their mind off for recreation—the mind was engaged. Reading was fun work— a private communion between reader and writer, between reader and characters. This requires something from the reader, but the rewards are worth it. Written narratives do much for us, mentally and emotionally. They strengthen a personal connection to who we are and where we came from. Take, for example, a simple exchange in “Changelings,” the fifth story in Ryan Turner’s short story collection Half-Sisters and Other Stories. The character Michael tells his mother Maggie about a woman he’s met. “We just kept talking,” he said. “What did you talk about?” “Oh, I don’t know. Our lives.” These few words say much in the context of Turner’s collection. Turner’s stories show us who we are as members of a collective (in this case, our families) and as private individuals. Most importantly, they show us who we become when those versions of ourselves intersect. In each entry of the collection, a piece of the past is hidden, denied, sought after or reexamined. Turner conducts a flawless

FEATURE Atlantic Books Today

Not only is there a place for literature in our technological world, we may need it now more than ever.

examination of family relationships and the unreliability of memory. His crisp and minimal stories give us a picture of the messiness of life, fractured with endless angles, like sunlight through a crystal. Novels often connect us to places that are important parts of our history. This is especially true in Deborah Hemmings coming-of-age novel Throw Down Your Shadows. Winnie is a teenage girl who lives with her mother in the Gaspereau Valley wine country in the early 2000s. She and her friends exist in a tight-knit group until they and their town are disrupted, forever changed, by the arrival of a new boy. In this light yet meaningful novel, it is refreshing to see an honest look at friendship between boys and girls without romantic complications. Lay Figures by Mark Blagrave immerses us in questions about the meaning of art through the eyes of Elizabeth MacKinnon,

a young writer who joins the artistic community in Saint John, NB, during the onset of the Second World War. The book echoes William Gaddis’ deep dive into art and authenticity, The Recognitions, in its discussions on the ownership of art and what it means to be an artist when the realities of life press in. Blagrave’s male characters are nuanced and well-drawn, while the female characters seem to exist only in relation to the men in their lives. Blagrave paints a vibrant picture of a time and place in Saint John’s history that is rarely represented in fiction. We need good narrative fiction, in part for wisdom conveyed under layers of pure entertainment. The title page of Paddy Scott’s book The Union of Smokers reads: “Huckleberry Finn meets The Catcher in the Rye meets Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in this outlandish debut novel.” That’s quite a declaration for a writer’s first book. Fortunately, The Union of Smokers is funny, intelligent and unexpectedly poignant. Twelve-year-old Kaspar Pine is about

NSCC Foundation is proud to be a founding partner of Atlantic Publishers’ Bound for Good campaign It is our privilege to celebrate the remarkable works of Atlantic Canadian authors, illustrators and publishers – including some of our very own NSCC alumni and faculty. NSCC Foundation shares Atlantic Publishers’ mission of fostering and elevating Atlantic Canadian talent. We believe in the importance of literature and its ability to improve quality of life for readers of all ages. We are delighted to support our local storytellers and look forward to continued collaboration with Atlantic Publishers.

Bee Stanton, Nova Scotian Illustrator, Class of 2008 & 2009.



Sometimes one person does change the world, or at least our corner of it. In our Time to… Meet collection, you’ll get to know some inspirational forces who have used their hands, voices, feet and minds—and always their courage—to change life as we know it in Atlantic Canada.

Abraham Bevereley Walker Acadian Driftwood Peter Little Tyler LeBlanc New World Publishing, $16.95 Goose Lane Editions, $19.95

Against the Grain Lindsay Ruck Pottersfield Press, $19.95

Almost Feral Gemma Hickey Breakwater Books, $24.95

Chasing a Dream Carl English Flanker Press, $19.95

Doug Knockwood Mi’kmaw Elder Doug Knockwood Fernwood, $21.00

Holocaust to Resistance Suzanne Berliner Weiss Fernwood Publishing, $22.00

One Good Reason Séan McCann Nimbus Publishing, $29.95

Robert Bond: A Political Biography James K. Hiller ISER, 29.95

Sister to Courage Wanda Robson Breton Books, $17.95

Stompin’ Tom Connors Charlie Rhindress Formac Publishing, $29.95

The Story of Lillian Burke Edward M. Langille Boularderie Island Press, $21.95



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to die. His mother is gone and he has been sent to live with his grandparents after suffering abuse at the hands of his father. It’s a tragic setup, but Kaspar uses the final moments of his life to give, as he would say, “a killer theme essay.” Scott’s use of film and pop-culture references throughout the book works beautifully, never feeling forced. The Union of Smokers is pure exhilaration, a personal favourite of Spring 2020.

An old-fashioned new escapism

All of the above books, and many more, are profound and pleasurable escapes that take us deeper into an imaginative experience, one that engages heart and mind. In the age of binge-watching, there is also a new draw to the printed page. Where once we needed to escape certain drudgeries of work life, today many tire of plugging in, using a charger, battery, cable or signal, for their escapes. Books exist outside this technological framework. They are the original wireless. Not only is there a place for literature in our technological world, we may need it now more than ever. ■ B H LAKE is a Halifax-based writer who has been published in The Furious Gazelle and Writer Magazine. She is currently at work on her upcoming novel, In the Midst of Irrational Things.

FEATURE Atlantic Books Today

Atlantic Books Today NEWS FEATURE

IndigiLit Indigenousauthored stories from all genres are a gift by Chris Benjamin

Trevor Sanipass speaking at the Halifax Indigenous Discussion Panel.

Photo by Zane Woodford


ooks written by Indigenous authors—like Thomas King, Lee Maracle, Richard Wagamese and Katherena Vermette—have enriched my understanding of the world and my country. They have shown me people, stories and a worldview that are different from my own. These books have given me insight by virtue of their indigeneity. Stories written by people from cultures that have been tied to this land for far, far longer than my own show me things settler writers cannot. One of the first Mi’kmaw writers I remember reading is Daniel Paul. His We Were Not the Savages told a different history from the one I’d learned in history class. Paul’s book was meticulously researched and presented, a forensic analysis of an all-out assault on Indigenous people, land, language and culture. His research focused on the settler’s written record and was thus impossible for those beholden to such authority to contradict. All it took was a different writer—a Mi’kmaw writer—to

gain a clearer perspective of how the “west was won,” and who paid what price. Another key piece of nonfiction by a Mi’kmaw author is Isabelle Knockwood’s Out of the Depths, the story of her and her classmates’ experiences at the Shubenacadie Residential School. The book was one of the first exposés on the residential school system. Knockwood combined archival research with her own, personal story, and those of other survivors. Those firsthand stories helped inspire a movement toward a class-action suit against the federal government and churches, leading to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission. They are crucial, not only to exposing the truth of Canada’s genocide, but also because in telling them survivors take back power over their own story. In her essay, “Oral Tradition” (in The Mi’kmaq Anthology Volume 2), Mi’kmaw filmmaker and writer Catherine Martin argues for letting Mi’kmaw storytellers “take back their original place of honour and privilege.” NUMBER 91 | SUMMER 2020


Atlantic Books Today FEATURE

From a spandex-free pilgrimage to the trials and travails of a middle-aged former beauty queen, to some of the most astute cartoon commentary on Atlantic Canadians, our Time to… Laugh collection is the comic relief you need from a world gone absurd.

Are You Kidding Me?! Lesley Crewe Nimbus Publishing, $21.95

Crow Amy Spurway Goose Lane Editions, $22.95

Louisbourg or Bust RC Shaw Pottersfield Press, $19.95

Miss Nackawic Meets Midlife Colleen Landry Chocolate River, $14.95

Pea Soup for the Newfoundland Soul Grandpa Pike Flanker Press, $19.95

Searching for Terry Punchout Tyler Hellard Invisible Publishing, $19.95

Send More Tourists... the Last Ones Were Delicious Tracey Waddleton Breakwater Books, $19.95

The Smeltdog Man Frank Macdonald Pottersfield Press, $21.95

The Dome Chronicles Gary Leeson Nevermore Press, $24.95

You Might Be From New Brunswick If... Michael de Adder MacIntyre Purcell, $19.95

You Might Still Be From Nova Scotia If... Michael de Adder MacIntyre Purcell, $19.95

The Earth is Flat! An Exposé of the Globuralist Hoax Leo Ferrari ISER Books, $24.95



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“I am a descendent of a storytelling tradition,” she writes, “… raised to understand life through stories and taught to remember them as they are told to me over and over again.” Martin learned much working on a film exhibit and book called Let Us Remember the Old Mi’kmaq: Mikwite’imanej Mikmaqi’k, when she interviewed elders about 1930 photographs from their communities. “It was amazing to listen to the elders recall stories about grandparents, great-grandparents, many of whom they had never met, or seen in a photo.” Stories come in many forms; the oral tradition can translate into film or prose, or poetry. Rita Joe is perhaps Mi’kma’ki’s most celebrated poet. Like Isabelle Knockwood, she was a residential school survivor. One of her most powerful poems, “I Lost My Talk,” deals with the attack on not only her language but her way of conceiving the world: “Let me find my talk,” she wrote, “So I can teach you about me.” Fittingly, Rebecca Thomas, a second-generation residentialschool survivor, wrote a response poem called “I’m Finding My Talk,” which was released as an illustrated children’s book this past fall. Thomas reflects on learning Mi’kmaw and working through the destructive effects of colonialism. The effects of colonialism are on brutal display in Haudenosaunee-Cree writer Bernard Assiniwi’s The Beothuk Saga, an epic novel that covers a thousand years of Newfoundland history. Assiniwi, who was a professional ethnologist, painted a portrait of a complex society with religious freedom and no slavery. He drew on his extensive expertise on North American Indigenous cultures to show the story we still don’t teach in our schools, that Indigenous societies were by all accounts far more egalitarian and in fact peaceful than their European counterparts. A more contemporary novel is Stones and Switches by Mi’kmaw writer Lorne Simon of Elsipogtog. It should be regarded as a classic of Canadian literature, but hardly anyone knows it exists. On the surface, it’s a story of Megwadesk, a fisherman in a slump when his girlfriend is pregnant and wants to marry. Megwadesk struggles with the idea that his slump may not be merely bad luck, that someone is using dark magic against him. We see old and new ways colliding and influencing one another, bubbling to a perfect climax. Mi’kma’ki and Canada lost a budding literary master when Simon died in 1994. The body of Indigenous literature is wide and growing. Last spring, Labrador Innu writer Elizabeth Penashue released her memoir, Keep the Land Alive, a document of a traditional and changing way of life as well as a personal log of activism. And keep an eye out for To Be A Water Protector, Anishinaabe writer and activist Winona LaDuke’s probing into the New Green Economy concept. And in Fall 2021, watch for Trevor Sanipass’ Mi’kmaw-English bilingual children’s picture book, Close Encounters (Nimbus), a story about the author’s mother’s close call with an Indian Day School, institutions which survivors say were just as damaging as residential schools. “I met with Nimbus to share my novel,” Sanipass says, “and

FEATURE Atlantic Books Today

I just told them this story about my mom and they were pretty much in tears; they said ‘we want to put this in a storybook.’” In the 1940s, his mother’s friends came back from school speaking this “foreign language,” English, and wearing uniforms. She wanted in. But her grandfather told her that her mother needed her to help with her younger siblings. “She speaks very broken English now,” Sanipass says, “but as a result I speak fluent Mi’kmaw. The oral part of the culture is very important. We need more of our people to share their stories.” Sanipass has two other books in progress already. Indigenous-authored stories from all genres are a gift. Reconciliation calls on settlers—as a first step—to learn about Indigenous histories, cultures and stories. There is much to be gained in the reading. ■ CHRIS BENJAMIN is the author of three award-winning, critically acclaimed books: Indian School Road: Legacies of the Shubenacadie Residential School [Foreword by Daniel Paul]; Eco-Innovators: Sustainability in Atlantic Canada and Drive-by Saviours. Boy With A Problem, his debut collection of short stories, is slated for Fall publication with Pottersfield Press.

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“If you want to be well dressed, you have to learn by reading good books, reading poetry. It’s when you put nice things into your soul that you understand how to [do anything] well.” F R E N C H FAS H I O N C O LU M N I S T S O P H I E F O NTAN E L




New World Publishing presents an exciting array of new historical non-fiction titles; the best of late 2019 and the early months of 2020 before the lockdown.Three new authors and those with three or more titles. In fine bookstores everywhere . . . or toll-free: 1-877-211-3334 or search Quarantine, What is Old is New - 2nd International Ed) Ian A. Cameron, MD @ 2020, ISBN 9781895814453 - 216 pp, $22.50 e-book avaial. A book for the world today … during the COVID-19 pamdemic. Covers quarantine practices and procedures throughout history, not too unlike the self-isolation being practiced within the world today with COVID–19. Describes virulent diseases, quarantine centres, epidemic and pandemic disease and impact on historical immigration. Deals with viral mutation, influenza “drift” and “shift” plus critical viral and bacterial infections and pandemics over the last 200 years on the east coast of NA, but in addition, the updated in PostScript 2 are the 10 worst pandemics since 165 AD (the latter in Rome, decimating the Roman army returning home and citizens). Historic aspects shows connection to Europe and East Coast American ports via Canadian Immigration and the cargo port of Halifax and its relation to other east coast immigration ports in Canada and those in the USA. Great index and ample notes for research or additional reading.

Abraham Beverley Walker, Lawyer, lecturer, Activist by Peter Little – pp. 120 photos ISBN 9781989564073 – $16.95

The Forgotten Acadians (Updated Edition) Feb 2020 ISBN

9781989564127- $16.95 by Jude Avery: 126 pages/150 photos + e-book avail. Book reveals a “lost chapter” in Nova Scotian, Maritme and Canadian history; a significant story that begins with Mi’kmaq and Basque seasonal presence in the 16th Century, followed by a permanent settlement in the latter part of the 18th Century. Did you know Samuel de Champlain stayed in the Tor Baie region of Guysborough NS, in 1607 before he founded Quebec City the following year? Discover the Acadian Awakening in Nova Scotia;; the first Acadian premier of New Brunswick;; and the francophone “Three Wise Men” who changed national perspectives on bilingualism and multiculturalism in Canada forever. Original printing sold out in less than 2 months! New Edition contains map/ communties and Expulsion story summary in all 3 provinces. Followup book coming soon.

‘Capturing Crime’ by Carol Taylor; narrative by Greg Marquis, with Roselyn Rosenfeld & Connell Smith – ISBN 9781895814972 – $24.95. Full colour coffee-table book: Hard Cover Limited Edition $39.95 Law courts, judges,

Be transported back to the days of systemic racism in 19th Century Canada and the USA to experience the life and times of Canada’s first black attorney; first black magazine publisher and a pre-eminent advocate for civil rights. Ride the roller coaster of life with Abraham Walker as he campaigns tirelessly for fair play and justice for his people. He was a brilliant orator who never shied from battle orally or in writing with notable adversaries, regardless of their political stature or his personal cost. He was a true warrior!. In 2019, Walker was the first ever awarded the Order of New Brunswick (posthumously) finally A Canadian who made a real impact a tribute befitting an outstanding soul! .A

prosecutors, witnesses, defense teams, red evidence bags, all drawn from an artist’s perspective., the ‘good’ guys, the ‘bad’ guys, including fifteen stories, half reported widely in the Canadian media; Alan Légère, Premier Hatfield, the Dennis Oland trials, a Columbian smuggling cartel, Bourque RCMP murders, and more. Covers the last three decades, in one tidy package, with fascinating images and well-constructed verse from gifted writers explaining each trial., Carol’s courtroom sketches over 30+ years, documenting a wide variety of cases, is both factual and entertaining.

Evolution of the Middle Class: Colonial Society Rules by A.D. Boutilier. ISBN 9781895814996 – 270 pp., 150 photos; – $22.95; $22.95; + e-book avail. This publication is a social history; the third in a trilogy by Boutilier since 2014 on colonial life and times. The research is deftly organized into a panorama of topics that trace the historical roots of the Bourgeoise of the late 1700s up to their emergence with Joseph Howe’s reform movement in 1835. The middle-class rapidly evolved as a dominant force, fulfilling its vision of political, civic, and family life until 1867, creating an innovative political organization and a new social order: performing civic duties along with “islands of sociability.” Readers will be astonished, outraged, amused!

Sawbones: Hospitals, Institutions, Medicine and Nursing (1749-2018 ) by Devonna Edwards . ISBN 9781895814521– $27.50 – BW 10 x 8 Coffeetable book (224 pp/230 photos) An amazing story of medicine and hospitals from the first hospital ship, HMS Roehampton in 1749, to the evolution of hospitals from the very first Naval Hospital to every modern hospital from Sherbrooke to the Cobequid Centre, the expanded Dartmouth General to the QEII/Infirmary in Halifax; as well as medicine & nursing through three centuries! Includes a comprehensive chapter on the significant number of temporary and emergency hospitals during the Halifax Explosion; hospital ships of both World Wars; plus a myriad of diseases, old and new. This BEST-SELLER is Mrs. Edward’s 4th published historical work.

on the society in which he lived – 50 years before Martin Luther King, Jr.

AUTHOR PROFILE Atlantic Books Today

The art of getting lost

A conversation with Lesley Choyce, 100-time author

by RC Shaw



Atlantic Books Today AUTHOR PROFILE


n the spring of 2020, Lesley Choyce will publish his landmark 100th book, an essay collection entitled Saltwater Chronicles. Which brings us to a question: how in the world can a human accomplish something so Herculean? It’s one thing to read 100 books. Or write 100 poems. Or, for that matter, surf 100 waves. To write and publish 100 books is, for most mortals, an impossible feat. Could it be something in the saltwater?

“Surfers tend to age gracefully in case you didn’t know.” I first met Lesley Choyce at a Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia, Halloween party in 2006. He came as an obsessed Star Trek fan, his eyes covered by some kind of gold vacuum filter. The conversation was fittingly spacy, pinballing from the size of the universe to the metaphorical implications of black holes. I was in thrall; Choyce’s verbal energy felt like a comet streaking through the night. Who was this mad-masked philosopher? What planet was he from? I didn’t know it then, but I was in the presence of a man who had already published a constellation of books. I ran into Choyce numerous times over the years, each encounter as weird and wonderful as the first. I’d see him in the surf at Lawrencetown Beach in his signature dry suit, knee-paddling into clean waves, dancing down the face like a stylish praying mantis. I’d catch a glimpse of him at his Pottersfield Press booth at the Word on the Street festival, looking literary in his glasses and trademark wild, curly hair. I’d visit him in his spartan, technology-free Dalhousie office, Zen calm exuding through his firmly planted bare feet. As time ticked by, Choyce kept writing at warp speed, to the tune of nearly three books a year. Now, Choyce and I are perched in his kitchen overlooking Lawrencetown Lake, placid ocean shimmering in the distance. As he hands me a glass of beer, I try to get a closer look at his hair, which I wrongly assumed would be deep into grey territory. Not so much—lots of pepper, very little salt. Choyce, now 69 years old, appears as if he’s never grown facial hair. Must be the surfing, I think. The ocean has always been his fountain of youthful exuberance. I’ve just finished reading the manuscript of Saltwater Chronicles and I’m bubbling over with stoke. Like every experience I’ve had reading Choyce’s work—which runs from adult fiction to poetry to children’s stories to local history, and, most prolifically, young adult fiction—I find his words strike a gong of truth in my head. Most of the essays in this collection come from a series of columns he wrote for the Chronicle Herald between 2014 and 2017, pieces I remember enjoying as they landed on my doorstep. My favourites are his meditations on things like surfing, napping, reading, hiking and plumbing the subconscious for stories. What


AUTHOR PROFILE Atlantic Books Today

keeps me coming back to Choyce is his deep and abiding love for his adopted home, his muse, fair Nova Scotia. The vast majority of Choyce’s 100 books are set in the province, usually within shouting distance of the omnipresent Atlantic Ocean. My well-worn copy of his 1995 book of poems, The Coastline of Forgetting, taught me everything I know about walking on cobblestones. From a historical perspective, it’s hard to surpass his 1996 living history, Nova Scotia: Shaped By The Sea. And then there’s his most successful novel, The Republic of Nothing, which stamps the eccentricity of the rugged Eastern Shore in a reader’s mind forever. Choyce may have come here from New Jersey as a responsibility dodger in 1978, but almost everything he has created since then is an ode to the place where he first planted his freak flag.

“Good writing and a good story will not only survive but prevail.” As we settle into our pints, I ask him how it feels to have his 100th book coming out. “The fact that it’s my 100th book worries me a little,” he replies, leaning back on his stool. “People might say, ‘Oh, he just cranks them out, this is just another one.’ “Never feels that way to me. I just feel so privileged that I get to write another book.” Feeling brave, I ask him if he thinks an author can write 100 quality books. “I doubt it.” He shrugs. “I’m sure there’s a few that aren’t so great. But I don’t go back and judge. To be honest, I don’t even read my books after they’re published.” Aside from a few wonky covers, Choyce says he has no publishing regrets. Part of Choyce’s magnetic personality is his lack of cynicism. He tells me, “It’s a beautiful thing to write a book and have people read it.” When I bring up the topic of legacy, he pauses and turns his eyes to Lawrencetown Lake, chewing on the question. “I’d be pleased if people saw I was diverse,” he says, “that I tried many different things. Maybe that I didn’t fit into any standard literary roles of the day.” I tell him I consider him a trailblazer, but Choyce deflects my praise, turning to the future instead. If his writing career was a baseball game, I ask, what inning would he be in now? “I feel like I’m in the middle of the game. So, 4th or 5th inning?”

Such tension your hands will shake with each turn of the page, but you still won’t stop, so great will be your need to see how it all turns out for characters as richly developed as grime on a city street. Our Time to… Escape collection will take you away from it all.

A Bird on Every Tree Carol Bruneau Nimbus Publishing, $19.95

A Circle on the Surface Carol Bruneau Nimbus Publishing, $22.95

A Roll of the Bones Trudy J. Morgan-Cole Breakwater Books, $21.95

A Song from Faraway Deni Béchard Goose Lane Editions, $22.95

Halifax Nocturne Steven Laffoley Pottersfield Press, $21.95

Land Beyond the Sea Kevin Major Breakwater Books, $19.95

Mercy Mercy Marlene Stanton Acorn Press, $22.95

Oak Island Unearthed! John O’Brien New World Publishing, $22.50

Some People’s Children Bridget Canning Breakwater Books, $22.95

The Liars Ida Linehan Young Flanker Press, $19.95

The Woman in the Attic Emily Hepditch Flanker Press, $19.95

Under the Bridge Anne Bishop Fernwood Publishing, $21.00


“If you are a writer or an artist, you damn well better be good friends with your subconscious.”


Sample • Borrow • Buy NUMBER 91 | SUMMER 2020


Atlantic Books Today AUTHOR PROFILE

For the right observer, inspiration can come from anywhere, be it a heroic feat or a rock in the sand. The writers featured in our Time to… be Inspired collection share inspiration in perfectly wrought phrases and sentences, describing awesome beauty in form and function.

Bygone Days Reginald “Dutch” Thompson Acorn Press, $22.95

Hand Drawn Halifax Emma FitzGerald Formac Publishing, $24.95

An Extra Dash of Love Greater Moncton Down Syndrome Society Chocolate River, $19.95

Maud Lewis Sarah Milroy Goose Lane Editions, $35.00

Silver Linings Janice Landry Pottersfield Press, $21.95

Oderin Agnes Walsh Pedlar Press, $20.00

The Truth About Facts Bart Vautour Invisible Publishing, $17.95

What Once Was Lost Frank Smith SSP, $14.95

Colville Andrew Hunter Goose Lane Editions, $39.95

Narrow Cradle Wade Kearley Breakwater Books, $19.95

Slow Seconds: The Photography of George Thomas Taylor Ronald Rees Goose Lane Editions, $35.00

You Won’t Always Be This Sad Sheree Fitch Nimbus, $24.95



Sample • Borrow • Buy 20

Out the window we catch the sun suspended above the treeline. Afternoon slips into evening. I ask for some writerly advice. “Keep your mouth shut and write,” he tells me straight, dousing my hypothesis that he possesses some kind of super power. “Don’t talk your story out before you write it. Create and then revise. “Write the books you want to write. Start close to home and build. Keep coming back to the stories that are most important to you.” I get the sense that writing is nourishment to Choyce, a compulsion he must follow if he is to stay vital. In a stand-out essay from Saltwater Chronicles, “The Care and Feeding of the Subconscious Mind,” he shares his belief that one’s dreams, wild irrational thoughts and inner voices all come from that deep, unruly place in the brain. When faced with a plot line issue or a real-life problem, Choyce believes that filing it away in the subconscious is key. “Don’t keep chewing it over in your rational mind like a piece of gristle you just chomped into at the Steak and Stein,” he writes, “just let the ole boy do the trick.” Though he is careful to remind us he is no neuroscience expert, I find his suggestion revolutionary. Choyce trusts his subconscious, or “gut,” unconditionally. If you nurture your imagination and treat it with respect, art will have no choice but to flow.

“I, myself, like getting off the main trails and just walking in the woods.” As we near the bottom of our respective beers, I share an observation with Choyce: his 100th book contains more than three references to getting lost on purpose. He laughs and drains his glass. I picture him hiking down a worn footpath through windbattered Nova Scotian scrub spruce. He barely hesitates when he gets to Robert Frost’s famed fork. Instead of choosing one of the set paths, he strides straight ahead, punching into raw forest until he is good and swallowed by the green. Choyce navigates by inner vision, chasing the future as he creates. A hundred books is an incredible accomplishment, surpassed only by Isaac Asimov and a few others. Mad props are in order. Based on the sheer amount of juice left in his veins, he’s nowhere near the finish line. Riffing on the importance of getting lost, Choyce whispers me his secret. “As you know, there’s no straight lines in a Nova Scotian forest—just a mass of trees all bunched together. Really, though, you can’t get lost here. All you have to do is listen for the sound of the ocean. The coast will always bring you back.” ■ RC SHAW is the author of Louisbourg or Bust: A Surfer’s Wild Ride Down Nova Scotia’s Drowned Coast.

INCONVERSATION Atlantic Books Today

Remaking the

music memoir When Séan McCann shared the page with the love of his life, everything changed

by Gillian Turnbull



INCONVERSATION Atlantic Books Today


reat Big Sea was a college band when I was in college. Their peak coincided with my discovery of alcohol. From one show I attended, I remember only the feeling of jumping up and down, for two hours straight, beer splashing out of our non-compostable stadium cups. Afterward, I hit the bar with my girlfriends and met a guy I decided would be my husband. I don’t remember his name. I’m not sure I even knew what it was. I never saw him again. Twenty years later, reading Séan McCann’s autobiography, One Good Reason: A Memoir of Addiction and Recovery, Music and Love, made me realize my experience was typical. Great Big Sea took the finest bits of East Coast music, filed them down to easily digestible nubs and nestled them in raucous pop arrangements, creating a nationwide appetite for folky party music. A glimpse into a culture otherwise stereotyped, the GBS repertoire was just exotic enough to be exciting. Finally, the real thing. The GBS mandate dictated that albums should be fun, funny, upbeat, uplifting. A party in a smooth CD case waiting to be cracked open at your next kegger. That dictum resulted in the squashing of the bandmates’ experimental inclinations. Playing and writing creatively was jettisoned in favour of the musical equivalent of nine-to-fiving it, and a routine took hold for the band. Arrive in town, do a soundcheck, spend the rest of the night drinking your way through the same set as the night before. Land at a local bar, check out the local girls, make your way back to the tour bus with one—or a few—in tow. All of this sounds like standard fodder for a rock memoir. But McCann chose to break that mold.

Dodging the conventional

“I’ve read a lot of rock and roll memoirs,” McCann says. “You get, ‘I did this wrong, I’m so sorry,’ but you never hear the victim impact statement—you don’t get to hear from the wife. There’s great power in that conversation.”

Dodging the conventions of your typical rock star autobiography, McCann instead takes us through his harrowing childhood, one framed by the Catholic church’s powerful grip on his community, backdropped by a claustrophobic Newfoundland atmosphere. Just when you think you can’t read any more horror, his wife Andrea Aragon appears, telling her side of the story and injecting the long-missing (and long-suffering) partner’s perspective into the musician memoir. Grappling with her own demons, Aragon unravels her story in a sudden and unexpected, but welcome, change. She reached McCann (and his side of things) right when he needed her most. McCann blundered his way into her life, uprooted her from the US and handed her a life of virtual insanity in the midst of the Great Big Sea chaos and his own unfolding alcoholism. I realized partway into the book that Aragon’s chapters open with a tiny heart hovering over the text (McCann’s with a guitar). It symbolizes her emotional fortitude as McCann increasingly turned to the bottle during the first part of their marriage and the birth of their children.

The couple that writes together... 22

INCONVERSATION Atlantic Books Today

In conversation with Aragon and McCann, her anchoring role in the family is immediately evident. “As a family going through this,” she says, “you feel really isolated. My goal was to show other people they’re not alone.” When McCann began writing his memoir, he noticed significant gaps in his recollections. He had to rely on Aragon’s journals, which she had kept as someone with an interest in writing. They soon realized the story belonged to them both. “The two voices were a challenge for some agents and publishers,” McCann says. “They thought it was risky to approach an audience that way. But... this was about more than me, it’s about us, the story of us.” Writing in longform prose presented a particular challenge to McCann, a songwriter trained to take big stories and make them into 14-line songs. “My writing muscles are hardened in one direction.” Aragon, already inclined to use words to explain experiences, found getting their story down relatively easy. “For me, the actual content wasn’t as hard, because Séan and I talk all the time, so it was something that was natural for me to write about.” “It got to be monotonous for me to just listen to me,” says McCann. “The passages, especially about the family and my perspective on what I thought the impact was, they lacked teeth. The stuff from Andrea was painful, and eye-opening, and my initial reaction was that I was a bigger monster than I gave myself credit for.” I suggested perhaps their goal was less to document a music career, and instead to be a public voice for an all-too-common set of family traumas. “I’ve read a lot of rock and roll memoirs,” McCann says. “You get, ‘I did this wrong, I’m so sorry,’ but you never hear the victim impact statement—you don’t get to hear from the wife. There’s great power in that conversation.” The couple’s candid responses are what I expected after reading the book. McCann’s first section details the intense and ultimately abusive relationship he found himself in as a teenager. After developing an inordinate level of trust with McCann’s parents, the family’s priest moved in on Séan, trapping him in a cycle of drink, isolation, despair and finally violence. Unsure of how to escape, McCann kept on drinking and turned to music, two outlets considered acceptable in otherwise conservative Catholic St. John’s. He founded Great Big Sea, a small community of sorts, who absorbed his pain or, at least, let him defer it while they maintained a gruelling touring and recording schedule. All this time, Aragon was sorting through her own tumultuous childhood under an alcoholic father, via drinking, partying and cheating. In the midst of a self-imposed recovery and restart, she met Séan after a Great Big Sea concert and took him home. This moment of their first connection, as described by each in One Good Reason, is one that portends the intensity of their relationship. I wondered—as I read about these early moments and the couple’s later fights, distancing from each other and eventual rock bottom—how they’d come to terms with inviting readers into

The growth in the breadth and depth of French-language books published in Atlantic Canada in recent years is astounding. In our Time to… Lire en Français collection, you’ll find a wide range of books to read in French with your children.

Ah! pour Atlantique Sylvain Rivière Bouton d’or Acadie,$15.95

Le nouveau chiot Sylvia Gunnery Curriculum Plus, $24.95

La cabane Katia Canciani Bouton d’or Acadie, $10.95

Ma maman toute neuve Josée Larocque Bouton d’or Acadie, $11.99

B pour bayou: un abécédaire cadien Richard Guidry Bouton d’or Acadie, $19.95

Cours, Ben, cours! Philippe Garon Bouton d’or Acadie, $14.95

Fionn MacCool Terri M. Roberts Bradan Press, $8.99

L’Acadie en baratte Diane Carmel Léger Bouton d’or Acadie, $12.95

Le revenant de la baie Sainte-Marie Denis Boucher Bouton d’or Acadie, $19.95

Luna n’aime pas Nathasha Pilotte Bouton d’or Acadie, $8.95

Mayann prend le train Mayann Francis Nimbus Publishing, $22.95

Zim s’imagine Nathasha Pilotte Bouton d’or Acadie, $8.95



Sample • Borrow • Buy NUMBER 91 | SUMMER 2020


INCONVERSATION Atlantic Books Today


Given the opportunity, children gravitate to books like water to the shore, a natural result of their curiosity and humanity’s love for story, and to make sense of the world. Our Time to… Learn collection is a great source of books to work that curiosity muscle in kids.

100 Things You Don’t Know About Nova Scotia for Kids Sarah Sawler Nimbus Publishing, $14.95

Be a Weather Detective Peggy Kochanoff Nimbus Publishing, $14.95

Maud Lewis 123 Shanda LaRamee-Jones Nimbus Publishing, $12.95

Amazing Atlantic 50 Animals That Have Been Canadian Kids to Space John Boileau Jennifer Read Formac Publishing, $19.95 Nimbus Publishing, $19.95

Flying Ace: Errol’s Gander Adventure Sheilah Lukins Breakwater Books, $12.95

The New Puppy Set of 4 Sylvia Gunnery Curriculum Plus, $24.95

Planting Our School Garden Seaside Treasures Set of 4 Sarah Grindler Sylvia Gunnery Nimbus Publishing, $15.95 Curriculum Plus, $34.16

I Lost My Talk Rita Joe Nimbus Publishing, $22.95

Sable Island - Imagine! Janet Barkhouse Curriculum Plus, $8.95

She Dreams of Sable Island Briana Corr Scott Nimbus Publishing, $24.95



Sample • Borrow • Buy 24

Séan McCann Nimbus Publishing

those spaces. “It was a really emotional process to re-live all of those instances. I had specific conversations written down word for word, and it would bring me back into that place,” says Aragon. “But now I can see it through a different lens.” The last part of the book follows McCann through his initial recovery and his eventual revelation of the trauma of his youth. In doing so, he’s become a spokesperson, delivering music-infused talks on healing. Not one to linger too long on his own story, he also initiates a conversation on the corporatization of mental health in recent years, and the empty gestures made by big companies who fail in practice to look after their workers. He’s a philosopher at heart, trafficking in big ideas and always resisting through his words and music. Aragon, meanwhile, lingers at the heart of the book, drawing attention back home, revealing it as a space of forgiveness and healing. Her voice is powerful, remaking the music memoir as a story of deep love. ■ GILLIAN TURNBULL holds a PhD in ethnomusicology and is the author of Sonic Booms: Making Music in an Oil Town, and co-editor of Grassland Sounds: Popular and Folk Musics of the Canadian Prairies.

FOOD Atlantic Books Today

Cooking stories Atlantic Canada’s cookbook shelves are growing with our culinary scene


veryone has their own version of the chocolate chip cookie—their own ratio of brown to white sugar, the amount of chocolate chips and cook time. And just like “the best chocolate chip cookie” recipe, every cookbook is an archive of inspirations, tweaks and perseverance. Just like those sugar ratios, every cookbook has its own mix of ingredients as inspiration. A pinch of social media sharing, a dash of luck, sometimes a connection in the book industry. Always a whole lot of recipe testing. Each food author has to figure out the ratios that work for them. As shown by a recent surge in East Coast food books, there is plenty of room on the shelf for more. Journalist, food writer and cookbook coveter Simon Thibault just finished a one-year tenure as Developmental Editor-atLarge with Nimbus Publishing. As the owner of more than 300

by Gabby Peyton

cookbooks (and more than 100 other food-related titles), and author of Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food, published by Nimbus in 2017, Thibault knows how to spot a good idea. “My job was to help people develop their ideas and stories into fully fledged book proposals to pitch to Nimbus, and to help them gain an understanding of book publishing in general,” says Thibault. “It was a lot of getting potential authors to understand why their story mattered, and how to best present it, while understanding the amount of work necessary in writing a book.” Cookbooks aren’t just recipe collections. They have stories to tell. Thibault emphasizes that knowing your story, and why you should be the one to tell it, is the basis of all good cookbooks. “Confidence in your material, as well as being able to back it up by knowing your market. A publisher wants to know you have an understanding of what is necessary to write, publish and promote your book.”

Banbury Fruit and Nut Turnovers from Grandma’s Cookies, Cakes, Pies and Sweets, edited by Alice Burdick and published by Formac Publishing.



Atlantic Books Today FOOD

Once you’ve solidified the angle, the recipe gets more complicated: you have to make sure the cookbook is persuasive. “A real understanding of what a book asks you to do: change the way you think and act in a kitchen. Anyone can pick up a cookbook and follow a recipe, and if it’s well-written and explained, you end up with a tasty dish,” explains Thibault. When it came to Thibault cooking up his own book, it took more than two years to transform his ideas on food, history and Acadian cookery into Pantry and Palate, and get it on the shelves. For holistic nutritional consultant Jessica Mitton, her cookbook stemmed from personal health issues and re-learning to cook for health. Some Good, which was published by Breakwater Books in 2018, is a compilation of Newfoundland recipes—healthified. “Being from Newfoundland, I decided to base my first cookbook around traditional Newfoundland dishes made more healthily, along with new recipes inspired by native Newfoundland ingredients and tastes,” says Mitton. Partridgeberry jam and Jiggs’ Dinner get an update in Mitton’s work. Her upcoming work Some Good: Sweet Treats focuses on dessert. Mitton says devotion to a food idea is the basis for cookbook success.

“It starts with a true passion. Creating a cookbook is not easy. It is a labour of love. Pour yourself into the project and it will stand out as being uniquely you in what is a very saturated marketplace.” Bobbie and Geoff Pike got the inspiration for their big idea from their social media following. They are the authors of East Coast Keto. The husband-and-wife duo founded the Facebook group East Coast Keto in late 2017, as a means to support themselves and others in converting to a ketogenic lifestyle (based on the low carb, high fat Keto diet). The East Coast Keto Facebook group now has more than 5,000 members. The Pikes channelled that energy into creating a cookbook filled with explanations of the Keto diet and more than 120 recipes. If a good story is the mirepoix upon which to develop a good cookbook, it should be no surprise that Atlantic Canada is producing so many quality works. “The humble East Coaster is learning to take their place at Canada’s table, and I think that’s wonderful, and important,” says Thibault. ■ GABBY PEYTON is a freelance journalist, writer and blogger based in St. John’s. She is the restaurant critic for The Telegram, and her bylines include CBC, Atlantic Business Magazine, USA Today and Eaten (the world’s first food history magazine).

Learning from the past. Envisioning a better future.

resettlement Uprooting and Rebuilding Communities in Newfoundland and Labrador and Beyond

edited by

isabelle côté & yolande pottie-sherman

Available September 2020 where books are sold, or visit


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FOOD FEATURE Atlantic Books Today



Following an old recipe is taking a portal to the past

n East Coast kitchens, we have come to expect music, perhaps even dancing, certainly some eating, and always, storytelling. In every East Coast kitchen, there is also the cooking. When we cook, we share—in a subtle fashion—Atlantic history. That history is layered with the ingredients of our favourite recipes. While the act of cooking places us in the here and now, a recipe can be a portal to the past. Call it history by eating, where stories melt on your tongue, and folklore sizzles on a cast-iron pan. Diane Tye, a folklore professor at Memorial University, has spent much of her career studying Atlantic food traditions, and the stories they tell. She says that it is human nature to take something with historical-cultural meaning and re-interpret it through a

modern-day lens. Tye uses the lobster—a prominent symbol of Atlantic tourism—as an example. “Lobster went from a food associated with poverty to a present-day delicacy,” Tye explains. “Those were different communities and different times. “When we take something out of our collective past, we are celebrating something in a new way. We are telling stories about ourselves.” In her 2011 article, “Lobster Tales: Narratives of Food, Past, and Place in Maritime Canada,” Tye discusses lobster’s changing story, how it evolved from fertilizer to the coveted meal it is today. The unique history of the famed crustacean is not necessarily documented in textbooks. Rather, it is echoed in kitchens across the Atlantic—a tale often told while preparing it. Whether through personal or communal experience, many East Coast cookbooks lean into this kind of storytelling, providing space for a cook to be present with the food they are preparing, while connected to the origins of the recipe. In Taylor Widrig’s book, The Mermaid Handbook, she shares the history of seaweed in the Atlantic region. From the perspective of an Indigenous mermaid, she explains that before seaweed was a food source, the Mi’kmaq used it to make baskets. Through folklore, ocean preservation tips and seaweed-based recipes, Widrig effortlessly weaves cultural history with a present- day focus on health and sustainability. “Tradition is not this static thing—it’s always being reinvented,” Tye explains. “Foods are going to have elements of tradition, but at the same time they’re going to continually change to meet new tastes and new needs.” One of these new needs is food that comes from secure, sustainable sources. Humans have always adapted to changing availability and access to certain foods. The way we eat has changed NUMBER 91 | SUMMER 2020


Atlantic Books Today FOOD FEATURE

The best way to develop a passion for reading in children is to read with them. Our Time to… Read Together collection features the kinds of books kids will want to hear again and again, and their parents won’t mind saying yes.

(M)other Sanita Fejzic Bouton d’or Acadie, $13.95

The ABC’s of Viola Desmond William King Elementary School, 2/3 Students Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute

Commander Gander Goes to Come From Away Dawn Baker Flanker Press, $14.95

EveryBody’s Different on EveryBody Street Sheree Fitch Nimbus Publishing, $22.95

G is for Gael Shelayne Hanson Bradan Press, $14.99

The Little Tree by the Sea John DeMont MacIntyre Purcell, $17.95

The Little Red Shed Adam Young Breakwater Books, $14.95

The Moon King Cara Kansala Breakwater Books, $14.95

Come Back to Earth, Esther! Josée Bisaillon Nimbus Publishing, $22.95

Footsteps in Bay de Verde Charis Cotter Running the Goat, $21.95

Sid the Kid and the Dryer Lesley Choyce Nimbus Publishing, $12.95

Tummy Time Friends Shanda LaRamee-Jones Nimbus Publishing, $12.95



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drastically over the years, prompting people like Widrig to reassess where our food comes from. A desire to transition to a plant-based diet, paired with her fascination with mermaids, led Widrig to create her company, Mermaid Fare, which began as a culinary education business. Mermaid Fare has since evolved, and seeks to promote seaweed as a secure, plant-based food source. Widrig says seaweed is a viable solution for a growing global population, because it does not require land, feed or fertilizer. With ocean conservation becoming a growing concern, Widrig feels a change in the tide. From a folklore perspective, Tye points to The Mermaid Handbook as an example of how tradition is carried forward through food and the ways in which we adapt recipes. Widrig’s book includes standards such as salads, sandwiches and casseroles, with a twist that reflects a shift towards a more sustainable diet. “Widrig is using some elements to provide that sense of continuity, while at the same time re-interpreting and pushing us forward with plant-based recipes,” explains Tye. “It may be when someone is looking back in 50 years, that this will be the tradition they talk about.” Some food traditions are specific to a single province. Roger Pickavance is the author of three books focusing on Newfoundland food traditions. His latest release, From Rum to Rhubarb, introduces recipes inspired by the easternmost province of Canada. Though

FOOD FEATURE Atlantic Books Today

Pickavance says the foods in the book are not necessarily unique to Newfoundland, it isn’t difficult to see his connection to the island he calls home. Berry picking is an enduring tradition in Newfoundland—an activity that honours the resourcefulness of the people who have lived there for centuries. What was once a supplemental activity, carried out by mostly women and children, is now a social gathering for family and friends. The book’s recipes use fruits, vegetables and berries, each of which speak to Newfoundland heritage. Though there are numerous wild berries that grow in the province, Pickavance highlights the famed partridgeberry, and lesser-known squashberry, and his selected recipes include jams, tarts, biscuits and ice cream. Calling himself an amateur historian, Pickavance has committed much of his life to studying the history of Newfoundland cuisine. His first two books delve deep into tradition, offering a record of recipes and cooking over many decades. From Rum to Rhubarb was a natural progression, offering his favourite recipes, still steeped in history, but accessible to the everyday cook. “Traditions are always changing,” says Tye. “Taking the essence of something and tweaking, or revamping, or re-inventing it, and that’s true sometimes even for basic recipes.” Whether a seasoned chef or tying your first apron, Atlantic cookbooks provide a tasty mixture of food and history, honouring the roots of this region, and staying true to East Coast kitchens. ■ ALIX BRUCH is a Jill of all trades. She worked as a geologist in Calgary before moving to Europe to play professional soccer and is now a freelance journalist in Halifax. She received a 2020 Emerge Media Award and enjoys writing about women in sport.

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Atlantic Books Today FOOD FEATURE

SHORT REVIEWS For the older youth, the ones reading on their own, stories must above all else be authentic and honest, with writing that challenges without being boring. The stories in our Time to… Read Alone collection deal with issues that concern young people, expertly crafted.

A Boy From Acadie: Roméo An Old Man’s Winter Night LeBlanc’s Journey to Tom Dawe Rideau Hall Running the Goat, $15.95 Beryl Young Bouton d’or Acadie, $19.95

Follow the Goose Butt to Nova Scotia Odette Barr Chocolate River, $10.95


Taylor Widrig Nimbus Publishing

The Mermaid Handbook tells a story of protecting the ocean and honouring where our food comes from. Told from the perspective of a mermaid, Taylor Widrig’s first book provides fun ways to cook with seaweed, while cultivating love and respect for the ocean. Her favourite recipes featured in the book include sticky rice panda bears and microfudge truffle balls.


Jack & Mary in the Land of Thieves Andy Jones Running the Goat, $14.95

My River Stella Bowles Formac Publishing, $16.95

The Mystery of Portuguese Waltzes Richard Simas Running the Goat, $12.95

No Girls Allowed Natalie Corbett Sampson Nimbus Publishing, $12.95

Treason’s Edge Susan MacDonald Breakwater Books, $15.95

Viola Desmond Graham Reynolds Fernwood Publishing, $10.00

Welome to Camp Fill-in-the-Blank Hope Dalvey Acorn Press, $12.95

The Wereduck Code Dave Atkinson Nimbus Publishing, $12.95

Worthy of Love Andre Fenton Formac Publishing, $14.95



Sample • Borrow • Buy 30

Marie Nightingale Nimbus Publishing

Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens is here to stay, bringing old recipes into new kitchens. First published in 1970, the classic cookbook has since found a home in pantries across the Maritimes. Providing more than just traditional recipes, the bestseller tells the history and stories of food across the region. The book is detailed with simple illustrations and bits of food lore that further add to its timeless quality.

FOOD FEATURE Atlantic Books Today


Jessica Mitton Breakwater Books

If you are here for the dessert, Jessica Mitton has got you covered. Some Good: Sweet Treats is her second cookbook, guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth with no guilt attached. All of her recipes are gluten-free and dairy-free, leaving you feeling, well, some good!


Craig Flinn Formac Publishing

Craig Flinn is a champion of Nova Scotia cooking and is giving new life to old recipes in his latest book. Out of New Nova Scotia Kitchens takes inspiration from local staples including donair, lobster rolls and seafood chowder. Having enjoyed these foods his entire life, Flinn is re-imagining classic dishes, making them accessible to everyone in every kitchen.


Bobbi Pike and Geoff Pike Breakwater Books

Bobbi Pike has put together a collection of over 120 recipes that offer an introduction to the keto diet and simplifies meals for those already following a ketogenic lifestyle. Offering flavourful lowcarb meals, East Coast Keto is a practical guide to health and wellness based on Pike’s personal health journey. The book provides easy-to-understand information about the keto diet and tips to simplify keto cooking.



Virginia Lee Formac Publishing

Roger Pickavance Boulder Books

Everyone is in search of the best lobster roll, and now you don’t need to leave your kitchen to find it! The East Coast’s Best Lobster Rolls features 50 recipes honouring the tried-and-true Atlantic treat. From simple to fancy, there is a roll for every occasion in Virginia Lee’s imaginative new book.

Roger Pickavance’s latest book was inspired by his home in Newfoundland and Labrador. From Rum to Rhubarb is more personal than his first two books, featuring some of his favourite recipes, which he tested in his own kitchen. The fruits, vegetables and berries that grow in the province are some of the best in the world, and Pickavance has showcased them in new, creative ways.



Atlantic Books Today REVIEWS


Brian Bartlett reviews overdue study of 20th-century New Brunswick literary life


n his new study of 20th-century New Brunswick literary life, Tony Tremblay reveals that another name considered for the journal The Fiddlehead before its birth in 1945 was The Water Lily. Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, The Fiddlehead evokes ferns-on-the-way with their musical-instrument shape, earthy taste and associations with the St. John River valley in spring. Wouldn’t a lily suggest delicacy, wateriness and (Monet’s paintings notwithstanding) conventional beauty? We can be glad that Tremblay’s book isn’t titled The Water Lily Moment. As Canada Research Chair in New Brunswick Studies and founding editor of the Journal of New Brunswick Studies, Tremblay is very well-qualified to write about his home province. Based at St. Thomas University, he has done unmatched archival work, and his microscopic labours combined with wide-ranging thought have produced a valuable, overdue study. Of five chapters in his new book, three each focus on a single figure who affected UNB in major ways: AG Bailey (1905–97), Desmond Pacey (1917–75) and Fred Cogswell (1917–2004). One of Tremblay’s approaches is biographical, though he often writes through the lenses of politics, sociology and economics. The Fiddlehead Moment shows us clearly how the drive and originality of individuals, paired with institutional support, can help widen a province’s educational and cultural worlds. In 2020, how refreshing it is to find Bailey saying in 1946 that university studies should transcend “the merely vocational” (“earning a living”), and to learn that Pacey sent guest lecturers to far-flung schools, with the goal of encouraging reading rather than, in Tremblay’s words, “recruiting local students.” With roots in both Quebec and New Brunswick—his family’s UNB affiliations going back three generations—Bailey comes across as the most broadly learned and variously gifted of the three. He wrote the first book-length ethnohistorical study of the struggle between European and Eastern Algonquin cultures, and later compiled a book of his essays, still valued today, Culture and Nationality. In 1938, Bailey became UNB’s first professor of History (he’d joke that for years he was, as its only full-time member, “the head, body and tail of the department”). One of his


most ambitious projects was to greatly enlarge the university library’s holdings, under the eye of Lord Beaverbrook (“Bailey’s genius…was to don the persona of a manservant while steering Beaverbrook in the directions that UNB and the province needed to go”). Most significantly for Canadian poetry, Bailey, the finest artist of the Fiddlehead Moment trio, wrote poems in modes ranging from metaphysical density to fantasy/fable to memoir/ history. After being hired by UNB in 1944, Pacey, having grown up in New Zealand, England and Ontario, quickly adapted to his new surroundings, and found inspiration in Bailey’s vision of expanding educational offerings. In the 1950s, he published two innovative works of alternately celebratory and calling-a-spade-a-spade

REVIEWS Atlantic Books Today


Tony Tremblay McGill-Queen’s University Press

criticism of Canadian fiction writers and poets. He should also be honoured as the administrator who laid the groundwork for the first writer-in-residence program at a Canadian university (at UNB in 1964). Cogswell’s major efforts went into reconfiguring The Fiddlehead as an international journal, creating and almost single-handedly operating Fiddlehead Poetry Books (the foundation of today’s Goose Lane Editions), mentoring many beginning writers, and writing his own poetry. He also translated Acadian and Quebec French-language poetry, an activity he enjoyed but also participated in with a civic sense of bilingual, bicultural curiosity and respect. The “alternative Canadian modernism” in the subtitle of Tremblay’s book has at its heart a belief in the complementary values of provincial interests (not provincialism), nationalism and cosmopolitanism. The stereotyping of Maritimers as parochial and behind-the-times resulted in feisty exchanges, then as now. Pacey voiced strong disagreements with Montreal poets’ dismissive judgments of earlier Maritime writers. (Considering that, it’s

Books are diverse in function, and the bestsellers are often practical, aimed to bring out our inner doers. The books in our Time to… Indulge collection are stories of food and drink that are both practical and engaging, stories that inspire us to create our own feasts.

Adventures in Bubbles and Brine Philip Moscovitch Formac Publishing, $27.95

Canadian Spirits The Chowder Trail Cookbook Stephen Beaumont Elaine Elliot & Virginia Lee & Christine Sismondo Formac Publishing, $16.95 Nimbus Publishing, $29.95

East Coast Favourite Fishcakes The Formac Cookbook Team Formac Publishing, $16.95

East Coast Keto Bobbi Pike Breakwater Books, $34.95

Flavours of New Brunswick Tom Mason MacIntyre Purcell, $34.95

From Palette to Palate Dale Nichols SSP, $24.95

Island Vegan Marian Frances White Breakwater Books, $29.95

Nova Scotia Cookery, Then & Now Valerie Mansour Nimbus Publishing, $27.95

Out of New Nova Scotia Kitchens Craig Flinn Formac Publishing, $24.95

Rock Recipes Cookies Barry Parsons Breakwater Books, $22.95

Welcome to my Kitchen Joan McElman MacIntyre Purcell, $22.95



Sample • Borrow • Buy NUMBER 91 | SUMMER 2020


Atlantic Books Today REVIEWS

Sometimes inspiration sneaks up and smacks you. Most times you have to look to what others have done, learn from their mistakes and successes, then find your own style. Our Time to… Create collection may be all the inspiration you need to make your masterpiece.

Colouring Newfoundland and Labrador Dawn Baker Flanker Press, $16.95

Colour Prince Edward Island Nadine Staaf Acorn Press, $14.95

East Coast Gardener Marjorie Willison Nimbus Publishing, $39.95

Edible Plants of Atlantic Canada Peter Scott Boulder Books, $29.95

Escape to Reality Mark Cullen Nimbus Publishing, $25.95

From Seed to Centrepiece Amanda Muis Brown Nimbus Publishing, $34.95

Grow Organic: A Simple Guide to Nova Scotia Vegetable Gardening Elizabeth Peirce Nimbus Publishing, $19.95

IKWE: An Indigenous Art Colouring Books for Adults and Children Jackie Traverse Fernwood Publishing, $20.00

Saltwater Classics from the Island of Newfoundland Christine LeGrow Boulder Books, $29.95

Saltwater Mittens from the Island of Newfoundland Shirley Scott Boulder Books, $29.95

The Nova Scotia Colouring Book Yolanda Poplawska Nimbus Publishing, $14.95

Favourite Perennials for Atlantic Canada Todd Boland Boulder Books, $34.95



Sample • Borrow • Buy 34

appealingly ironic that Tremblay’s book is published by McGillQueens University Press.) Tremblay acknowledges that universities were overwhelmingly male-dominated. In discussing NB-born Elizabeth Brewster, a student “considered by her peers to be the most gifted of the early Fiddlehead poets,” he speculates what opportunities would’ve opened for her if she’d “emerged at a time more accepting of women in the academy.” After Brewster completed a doctorate in Indiana in 1962, but

... the drive and originality of individuals, paired with institutional support, can help widen a province’s educational and cultural worlds. only after a detour into Library Science studies, a decade would pass before the University of Saskatchewan hired her. Many of us will wish that for his 1958 male-monopolized Ten Canadian Poets, Pacey had gone with his initial—but later set-aside (to his subsequent regret)—hopes to include chapters on Dorothy Livesay and PK Page. In a study as detailed as Tremblay’s, errors and missteps are hardly surprising. Reading that Confederation poet Bliss Carman had “more than passing influence on the intellectual development” of Pound, Frost and Stevens, many readers might wince at the grandness of the claim; a reference to “Chinese haiku” is puzzling in relation to the most Japanese of poetic forms; and Tremblay risks provincial boasting when he claims that New Brunswick modernism “was much more ambitious in its reformist agendas” than urban modernism grounded in Montreal and Toronto. Tremblay follows in the footsteps of his subjects Bailey, Pacey and Cogswell. With an unmistakable passion for the history he tells, passages of narrative colour, and analytical intelligence and thoroughness, The Fiddlehead Moment contributes much to our understanding of Maritime and Canadian literary cultures. Another delightful irony: it’s taken a St. Thomas prof to write such a lively, significant book delving into the history of the university just down the hill. ■ BRIAN BARTLETT is a poet, essayist, nature writer and editor. He has published 15 books or chapbooks of poetry, two prose books of nature writing, and a compilation of prose about poetry. He lives in Halifax.

REVIEWS Atlantic Books Today


Renée Hartleib reviews a searing and compelling tale of how the British tried to erase the Acadians


ate last year, I spent a few days in Washington, DC, and was grateful to have the opportunity to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Its many powerful exhibitions walk the visitor from slavery through civil rights and up to present-day times. To say “I had no idea,” would be an understatement. I left there changed by what I had learned about what African Americans have endured. This experience was replicated for me when I read Tyler LeBlanc’s Acadian Driftwood: One Family and the Great Expulsion. In the same way that I knew racism existed, but didn’t grasp the extent of the brutality suffered by African Americans, I also knew the basic facts of the Acadian Expulsion but really never thought of it as an ethnic cleansing. Thanks to LeBlanc’s beautifully written book, brought alive in riveting detail, more of us will understand how the British tried to erase a people—the Acadians—from the landscape of the Atlantic region, and the horror these individuals experienced as their homesteads were destroyed and their families torn apart. LeBlanc’s ancestors were one such family, but the author himself didn’t know of his Acadian roots until well into his adulthood. In his own words, LeBlanc says, “The surprising discovery set in motion a curiosity that plunged me into nearly four years of research and transformed the way I thought about identity, family and the history of the place I call home.” Readers will likely appreciate the book’s preface, which is a lovely nod to the Indigenous peoples of Canada, who were here before any of these settlers, Acadian or British. LeBlanc concedes that the story of the Acadian Expulsion is one small part of a much broader history that occurred within Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people. Through multiple viewpoints, all of which represent members of his family who were deported from their homeland, Acadian Driftwood sheds light on what happened to his ancestors—the ten children of Francois LeBlanc and Jeanne Hébert. There was Bénoni, a farmer in Grand Pré in 1755, who was called to a meeting at the local church along with all other Acadian men of the region. Surrounded by soldiers, the men were imprisoned in the church for days, then marched to the shore and loaded onto boats while their wives and children watched. There was Jacques and his wife Catherine, locked in the dark beneath the deck of a ship with hundreds of others, cramped and seasick. After a horrible three-week journey, during which many


Tyler LeBlanc Goose Lane Editions

would have died of smallpox or dysentery, they arrived in Boston where the hostile locals shunted them to the outskirts of the city. And there was Anne, who was deported by boat and ended up in quarantine in a “pesthouse” outside Philadelphia, where she watched friends and family, including her husband, die from deadly viruses. This book is a work of creative nonfiction. LeBlanc uses his considerable skills as a writer to fictionalize more unknowable aspects of his relatives’ experiences, such as what they may have been thinking or feeling. The result is a searing and compelling tale that is hard to put down. Wanting to document the suffering of some of the 15,000 Acadians who have mostly been lost to history, LeBlanc writes: “This is a personal book about ten siblings, all distant ancestors of mine, who found themselves tossed from their quiet pastoral lives into the turbulent world of eighteenth-century geopolitics.” It’s obvious that this book was a labour of love, written after extensive research. The result? A gorgeous piece of truth-telling, sure to make LeBlanc’s ancestors proud. ■ RENÉE HARTLEIB is a writer and writing mentor who offers online writing courses and one-on-one support to writers at all levels.



Atlantic Books Today REVIEWS


Sam Fraser reviews counterarguments to accusations against Julian Assange


he case of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks is a defining issue of the age. It is a nexus of several topics currently dominating the discourse. The Iraq War, post-9/11 US foreign policy, the Arab Spring, the election of Donald Trump, freedom of speech and the #MeToo movement all coalesce into this globe-spanning affair. The persecution of the Australian publisher and activist, and the events surrounding it, are explored in the new book In Defense of Julian Assange. Edited by political activist Tariq Ali and civil rights attorney Margaret Kunstler, this collection of essays, articles and excerpts aims to expose the vilification of Assange as character assassination, perpetrated by the United States Government and fuelled by mass media. Defense also strives to dismantle the charges against him and raise awareness as to how these attacks pose serious threats to press freedoms everywhere. Those new to the trials of Assange and those familiar only with

the popular damning narrative can both take something from this collection. The book’s introduction expertly establishes the story so far, from the birth of WikiLeaks, its mass releases of classified war logs and cables, through to Assange’s asylum claim in the Ecuadorian embassy, his 2019 arrest by British authorities and his current incarceration in Her Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh. In Defense of Julian Assange is painstakingly curated. Each contribution adds a new facet defending Assange as an unjustly persecuted journalist, while further dispelling the narrative propagated by world leaders and media figures painting him as a lecherous, narcissistic cyber-terrorist. The list of contributors is an all-star roster of anti-authoritarian iconoclasts, such as Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges and Slavoj Žižek. Assange’s own writings and interviews are transcribed, and journalists like Stefania Maurizi, who published WikiLeaks’ revelations with the Italian magazine L’espresso, are also featured.

Congratulations to James K. Hiller! Vast changes to our home lives, social interactions, government functioning and relations between countries have swept the world in a few months and are difficult to hold in one’s mind at one time. That is why a collaborative effort such as this edited, multidisciplinary collection is needed. This book confronts the vulnerabilities and interconnectedness made visible by the pandemic and its consequences, along with the legal, ethical and policy responses. These include vulnerabilities for people who have been harmed or will be harmed by the virus directly and those harmed by measures taken to slow its relentless march.

Winner of the 2020 Heritage and History Book Award

‘‘Through Vulnerable, we are confronted with the


The Law, Policy and Ethics of COVID-19 Edited by: Colleen M. Flood, Vanessa MacDonnell, Jane Philpott, Sophie Thériault, Sridhar Venkatapuram 9780776636405 - 49,95$

failures and fissures in Canadian society exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This collection unmasks the extreme vulnerability to the ravages of inequal inequality based on race, disability, age, and immigration status, and other sites of discrimination. By reflect reflecting upon power, responsibility, and accountability, Vulnerable provides the reader with tools to use and paths to follow, to immediately begin to build our better normal.’’ James S. Palmer Chair in Public Policy and Law, Dalhousie University


Find it where books are sold, or visit

ISERBooks_ABT91_quarterpg 3.375” x 4.625”

REVIEWS Atlantic Books Today


Edited by Tariq Ali and Margaret Kunstler Fernwood Publishing

One piece that stands out is a Guardian op-ed by Katrin Axelsson and Lisa Longstaff of the UK organization Women Against Rape (WAR). The article, “We are Women Against Rape but we do not want Julian Assange extradited,” highlights the organization’s belief that the Swedish authorities’ fervent pursuit of Assange for sexual assault allegations in 2010 had little to do with the state seeking justice for Assange’s accusers, and far more to do with the goal of eventually extraditing him from Sweden to the US. The book also functions as a field manual on how to counter accusations commonly directed at Assange. This is accomplished through a series of chapters by Caitlin Johnstone entitled “Responding to Assange’s Critics.” Apart from serving as an antidote to what the editors say is a smear campaign against Assange, this collection also illustrates the broader danger the Assange case poses to journalistic freedoms. In Matt Taibbi’s piece “Julian Assange Must Never Be Extradited,” the American journalist lays bare the United States Government’s exploitation of the Espionage Act of 1917, and how it could apply to any journalist who dares expose state-perpetrated abuses of power. Perhaps the most powerful assertion from In Defense of Julian Assange is in its introduction: “There is no evidence that WikiLeaks’ releases have caused the death or persecution of a single individual—globally.” If true, then there is more blood on the hands of those exposed by WikiLeaks than on those of Assange, and readers must ask if the vilification of Assange is merited, or if its perpetrators are engaging in a witch hunt, attempting to stamp out dissent. In Defense of Julian Assange boldly argues the latter. ■ SAM FRASER studied Journalism at the University of King’s College and French at Cape Breton University. He enjoys writing about language, culture, history and film.

Some days you get to do puzzles, and others your taxes are due. Whether working on your golf swing or planning for retirement, our Time to… DIY collection is filled with guides to help you put in the work, so you can get to the play.

Canada Quiz Calvin Coish Nimbus Publishing, $8.95

Atlantic Salmon Flies Mouches pour le saumon atlantique Jacques Héroux Goose Lane Editions, $24.95

The Big Book of Lexicon Volumes 13, 14, 15 Theresa Williams Nimbus Publishing, $19.95

Bluenosers’ Book of Slang Vernon Oickle MacIntyre Purcell, $12.95

The Democracy Cookbook Alex Marland ISER, $25.00

Don’t Panic Christine Ibbotson Nimbus Publishing, $12.95

The Guru in Your Golf Swing Ed Hanczaryk SSP, $19.95

The Lexicon, Volume 19 Theresa Williams Nimbus Publishing, $10.95

Memoir: Conversations and Craft Marjorie Simmins Pottersfield Press, $21.95

The Nova Scotia Book of Lists Vernon Oickle MacIntyre Purcell, $19.95

How to Retire Debt-Free & Wealthy Christine Ibbotson Nimbus Publishing, $24.95

The Flanker Dictionary of Newfoundland English Garry Cranford Flanker Press, $19.95



Sample • Borrow • Buy NUMBER 91 | SUMMER 2020


Atlantic Books Today REVIEWS


Heather Carruthers reviews a poetic work of art about a canoe trip


ren Simmers’ Pivot Point is a beautiful publication. The softly textured book jacket, the evocative line drawings by Emma FitzGerald, and the high-quality cream paper with plenty of free space all show that Gaspereau Press lavished attention on this book. Even the font choices warrant a two-page explanation by the publisher. Before one reads a word, the book is already a work of art. Pivot Point is a poetic travelogue, following three long-time friends and their partners as they paddle and portage the canoe circuit around Bowman Lakes in British Columbia. The author takes us on a day-by-day journey, and each day’s reflection ends with a poem. She describes not only the physical aspects of the trip but also her emotional and interpersonal experiences. Simmers’ poetical background is reflected in her concise and evocative language. There is so much portrayed in passages such as: two well worn stones, my head fits in the hollow of Adam’s arm. Held in that river eddy before the great packing and unpacking and repacking that is breakfast. Partway through the trip, she is challenged by a fellow traveller (not one of her group) to defend the role of poetry in the world today. She freezes and cannot think of a response at the time, but later formulates her reason for writing this poetic book, “to capture the spirit of this place, so that others can know it.” She succeeds in her quest over and over again, with descriptions such as: Enter the blue hour, where twilight cycles through its cyanometer and trees dim to inky silhouettes. I have witnessed many such a Canadian evening but have never heard it described so well. As with most poetic writing, the sparseness of words means there are unelaborated references that, if understood, make the book infinitely richer. In Pivot Point, there were a fair number


Bren Simmers, Illustrations by Emma FitzGerald Gaspereau Press


of canoeing terms that I looked up to make sure I was envisioning the right thing: sweepers and standing waves, prys and draws, thwarts and yokes. Enter the handy “Glossary of Canoe Terminology” on I also had to brush up on an isosceles triangle (two equal sides) and check out a number of people I didn’t know (the American writer Barry Lopez and the Canadian musicians Ember Swift and Lindell Montgomery are now on my radar.) Simmers under, rather than over-explains, and challenges us to use our intelligence and imagination. Right from the start, Simmers pushes herself, physically and mentally. Both journeys are fascinating. Not being a canoeist myself, I probably romanticise the idea of a camping canoe trip, but Simmers quickly dispelled my fantasy with her descriptions of the physical travails of this kind of “holiday.” The portages are arduous: Simmers describes potholes, squelching mud, broken pack straps, imbalanced carts and canoes that bruise hips and roll into ditches. The paddling also takes its toll, with sore muscles, blisters, hands frozen when the “steady showers scour sideways.” But even more challenging, I think, are the emotional challenges Simmers undergoes. She describes a tough moment near the beginning of the journey: We snap, then fall silent. My mind flash-floods with negative self-talk, tears come before I can trace the thought trail back to not strong enough, holding everyone back, shouldn’t have come. Later on, she challenges herself to rise above her negative thoughts: These people are not the ‘campsite competition.’ When will I learn to see allies first, not enemies? Source from abundance, believe that there is enough to go around, ditch the scarcity narrative that no longer serves me. Halifax-based artist Emma FitzGerald provides whimsical illustrations that make you wonder if she weren’t along for the trip. The details are all there, be it the bear-spray cover illustration or the flies in the powdered-lemonade-and-whisky cocktails. The larger landscape illustrations beautifully mirror the verbal descriptions and add another level of understanding and enjoyment to the book. Pivot Point is a pleasure to look at, hold, read, ponder and revisit. ■ HEATHER CARRUTHERS is a classical musician by training and wrote a weekly food column for the Brandon Sun in Brandon, Manitoba from 2003 to 2010.

REVIEWS Atlantic Books Today


Kristin Lipscombe reviews a deeply personal exploration of gratitude “What are you grateful for?” That’s the question Nova Scotia author Janice Landry poses to 17 different people—herself included—in Silver Linings: Stories of Gratitude, Resiliency and Growth Through Adversity. This unique project marks the award-winning writer’s fifth book. Like her past works, it is deeply personal, for the author and her subjects. Landry’s journalistic talent for putting people at ease is evident. Every chapter is laid out in a captivating combination of interviewee biography, her own perspective of the interview and transcript of those candid conversations. She spoke with fifteen Canadians and two Americans, many whom have overcome hard-to-fathom adversity with grace and the very gratitude that is Landry’s focus. Take, for instance, fellow Nova Scotians Paula Simon and Robert Chisolm, who lost their son at eight months old, but speak of the gift of loss. Or the book’s prologue writer, Saskatchewan native Alvin Law, a professional speaker who is most grateful for “being born without arms, because it sent my life on the course I have taken with pride and honour.” There’s also paramedic Stefanie Davis Miller of Paris, Ontario, who was diagnosed with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder—she prefers the stigma-reducing term PTSI, or PostTraumatic Stress Injury. She suffered multiple unrelated traumas. Her wrenching stories of emotional survival accompany many others from first responders, who are near and dear to the author’s heart. Opening up about your personal traumas and darkest times is no easy task, especially knowing they will be printed for public consumption. One of Landry’s gifts is sharing these often-troubling yet relatable stories with a real sense of compassion and empathy. Landry herself lost her firefighter father Baz Landry in 2006. She shares his story in The Sixty Second Story: When Lives are on the Line. She also lost her dear friend Audrey Parker, who chose to leave on her own terms November 1, 2018, through Canada’s MAID (Medical Assistance in Dying) program, after her breast cancer spread aggressively. Most recently, Landry suddenly lost her mother, Theresa, while working on Silver Linings. “It took me more than a year, and until after my mother died, to figure out my answer to this question,” Landry writes. “I am most grateful that my father, Capt. Basil (Baz) Landry, M.B., of the Halifax Fire Department did not die in the 1978 house fire from which he and his colleagues rescued an eight-week-old infant. Our collective ability to cope, as a family, would have been


Janice Landry Pottersfield Press

Like her interview subjects, and like us, Janice Landry has her own stories of resiliency through hardship. severely diminished.” Like her interview subjects, and like us, Landry has her own stories of resiliency through hardship. She doesn’t hesitate to follow the openness of the people she profiles by pouring her own heart out on the page. Dr. Robert Emmons, a California-based gratitude expert, perhaps answers her question most succinctly, in a way that seems to sum up the overall sentiment of Silver Linings. His source of gratitude? “I’d have to say it’s the ability to love and be loved,” he says. “I think that would take precedence.” For Landry, who dedicates this book to her friend Audrey and her mother, Theresa, Silver Linings is clearly a labour of love. ■ KRISTEN LIPSCOMBE is a committed, conscientious communications professional with experience in print, broadcast, television, radio and multimedia reporting, as well as in social media management, social media analytics, high-stakes media and public relations, media coaching/training, marketing and mentorship.



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Book briefs POETRY


Carol Hobbs Main Street Rag

Carol Hobbs’ first book of poetry brings the perspective of someone who has both lived in and left Newfoundland, a place she still longs for as an expat in Boston. What she left behind is a “Perfect World” (the first section of the book, detailing the poet’s Newfoundland upbringing), later destined to a life in “Exile” (the second section, which predominantly shares her life in America, punctuated by reminders of home). In the first section, common outport themes like hunting, fishing and foraging are recalled with the innocence of childhood memories: The caribou’s eyes are open so I sing to it. ... My father hums along, and cuts away the skin from the severed hind quarter. Familiar references to the 1992 cod fishery collapse offer original insights: the people scatter into the dark quadrants of the mainland, broken, their mouths open— the desperate thirst of them and Houses flake paint over stones, over gardens … boats sinking into indiscriminate ground. Her language is evocative and lyrical, describing a whale’s eye as “oily in the dark cup, me mirrored in the eye-slick.” Of a bonfire, she writes: 40

Sweet myrrh and spruce needles tangled like worms in the knit of sweaters … flankers spit into the night, fell back smoking onto our hair. Newfoundlanders will especially appreciate the local references, such as to Mom’s preordained suppers (“Fridays, salt fish in drawn butter”); a pantry of traditional bottled goods (“Cabbage pickles with bright mustard and black beads of pepper”); and Nan’s quilt-making (“On hands and knees, she mapped out the world of the garment”.) In the second section, Hobbs shares milestones from adulthood, like the failing health of her parents, how she became a writer and her encounter with 20thcentury American poet John Ashbury. Most telling is her poem, “Exile,” where she reveals the parts of herself that have persisted, even after considerable time away: “Some accents take longer than others to dissolve” and “I like to be called my love, my lass.” While most of the book is an ode to family and culture, the final poem, “Newfound-land,” pays homage to land, sea and wildlife: In the beginning Conception Bay was gold in that soft belly of kelp. There were green rocks smoothed and thrown to oval, and squids full of circular scars. An enjoyable read for Newfoundlanders, expats and visitors alike. — Jenn Thornhill Verma


Laura Trethewey Goose Lane Editions

Nothing is so boundless as the sea, nothing so patient. It is not true that the sea is faithless, for it has never promised anything; without claim, without obligation, free, pure, and genuine beats the mighty heart, the last sound one in an ailing world. Many understand it scarce at all, but never two

understand it in the same manner, for the sea has a distinct word for each one that sets himself face to face with it. With these sentences, the great Norwegian writer Alexander Kielland captured an essence of the ocean in a way that few have done since. The sea speaks to each of us differently. No wave, no individual, is the same. But to better appreciate Kielland’s perspective, one must slip beneath the surface of the common veneers of oceanic experience (sailors sailing, fishers fishing, divers diving) and explore its depths. In The Imperilled Ocean, Laura Trethewey’s seven vignettes invite us to do just that. The topics vary. Some readers will be attracted to the opening story about an aquatic cinematographer, the machinations required to film a model for a music video, and informed thoughts on the future of underwater filming. Others might be engrossed by the trials and tribulations (and the omnipresent unpredictability of marine weather) experienced by a Canadian couple hoping to sail the South Pacific. Those interested in species at risk can follow a fisheries biologist on the Fraser River in his attempts to learn more about the endangered, seaward-migrating white sturgeon, the largest fish in Canada. The story about an admirably determined effort to clear plastics from ocean beaches includes a truly ingenious initiative to recycle this debris into oil. Despite the title, many of these stories

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deal not with ocean imperilment, but the imperilment of humans. Harrowing, life-threatening migrant crossings of the Mediterranean. The tragedy of a young life cut short, against a background of wealth inequality, corporate indifference and a cruise ship. Day-to-day uncertainties for individuals threatened with eviction from a patch of ocean in British Columbia. The Imperilled Ocean serves to inform, engage and enrich our knowledge of human experiences with the ocean. In doing so, it lends credence to Kielland’s assertion that “it is not true that the sea is faithless, for it has never promised anything.” Rather, the faithlessness would appear to lie in us. ­— Jeffrey Hutchings BIT TYRANTS

Rob Larson Fernwood Publishing

We live in a world of our own imagina-

tions. At one time, fairytales warned of mean giants who lived in caves and valleys who would eat small children alive. While giants do not exist in the real world, large corporations that can devour our time and money in a matter of seconds do. In Bit Tyrants: The Political Economy of Silicon Valley, Rob Larson, professor of economics at Tacoma Community College, and the author of Bleakanomics, outlines the origin story of the Big Five of Silicon Valley: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon. He provides enough research material and condemning evidence that you’d think he was preparing for a Supreme Court

showdown. The average reader may take for granted the domineering ways these giants lord over us as social consumers. Larson gives plenty of reason to open up one’s mind. He offers insight into our own willingness to mingle comfortably online, despite Big Tech’s global reputation for its hoarding of its users’ personal data. Google is the biggest villain in the plotline. This ubiquitous search engine is a monster who has “vacuumed up user data from the start.” In 2004, when Gmail was released, consumers were shocked to learn their emails were being scanned so Google could custom brand advertising based on keywords and search history. Larson notes that Google created only one product beyond its search engine: an email platform. Everything else, like YouTube, they acquired. Bit Tyrant reads like a binge-worthy docu-series on Netflix or Prime, moving through our tech history from our 8bit days, in Reagan’s bleak America of the early 1980s, to our oversharing present, with web-monster ghouls like Donald Trump demonstrating how not to use social media. Larson sets the stage for Apple Computer’s plan for world dominance in its Super Bowl 1984 ad campaign, which “became famous, both for its then-innovative art design and its tagline ‘You’ll see why 1984 won’t be like 1984’ referencing of course, George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.” Larson pulls no punches in revisiting the embryonic dark days at Apple, including the February 28th, 1981 firing of 41 of the company’s 1,500 employees, when Steve Jobs told his staff, “You guys really fucked up,” after sales of the Lisa fell well below expectations. “Much as with Bill Gates, Jobs became notorious for preserving the very worst of hierarchical capitalist tyranny into the information age.” This is one long water cooler chat about the history of everything that damns and inspires us about the high-tech, massculture world we all share, use, buy into and drown in. — Nathaniel G Moore

I am from

Halifax, saltwater city, a place of silted genius, sudden women, figures floating in all waters. “People from Halifax are all famous,” my sister Faith has said. “Because everyone in Halifax knows each other’s buisness.”

“ Mesmerizing, kaleidoscopic ... An adolescent fever-dream ... A rollicking, strange and unforgettable coming-of-age novel unike anything you’ve ever read.” —






Carole Glasser Langille NUMBER 91 | SUMMER 2020


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Missing theatre? Pick up an exciting new play from Playwrights Canada Press!

Pottersfield Press

Doing Time explores the role of poetry and therapy in the most unlikely of

Available at your favourite bookstore and


places. After moving to a rural community near Hubbards, 45 minutes from the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility, Governor General’s Award nominated poet Carole Glasser Langille wrote to the John Howard Society, outlining a writing workshop she proposed to give. She explained the idea behind the workshop for prisoners, suggesting that “writing clarifies thoughts, and when thinking is clearer, actions become more comprehensible.” Inspired by Wallace Stevens, who said that the role of a poet is “to help people live their lives,” Langille wanted to bring a new form of rehabilitation to individuals who may not otherwise choose poetry as a therapeutic tool. The head of programming at the prison was looking for something fresh, and so, within a couple of weeks, Langille was volunteering on a weekly basis, encouraged by her vision, and inspired by the new relationships she made with the incarcerated. Each week, when I walked down those windowless halls, the iron doors clanging behind me, I felt again and again that the pain and longing in that crowded building created a spiritual intensity that made this a holy place, a dwelling whose inhabitants must be appreciated and treated with care. I had the privilege of hearing many of their stories. I wanted to honour them for their trust. What is unique about this book is how it’s set up: we go along with Langille each week, and as the poems develop, we see

their progress almost in real time. There’s honesty here that is refreshing. We are privy to the workshop, the voices, the sharing, the intensity and unexpected lines as they were first written down in the workshop, and spoken in the workshop. Much like a public reading, where a new work is shared, we for the first time ever get to read the poem as it was first composed. Doing Time does not reflect the typical idea many have of prisoners, thanks to gruesome headlines and the eversensational depiction of prison in documentaries and Hollywood. Consider what state of mind the inmates were in before learning to ply their mental trade on something they perhaps never considered before—poetry. Sorting out line breaks and mixed metaphors isn’t going to rehabilitate every prisoner, but workshops such as these can give those who accept it another mode of expression they would have otherwise never considered. — Nathaniel G Moore AN EXTRA DASH OF LOVE

Greater Moncton Down Syndrome Society Chocolate River Publishing

The act of writing can help one sooth anxieties and sort out problems. Often,

the writer finds themself communicating in surprising ways. An Extra Dash of Love: Letters Celebrating Down Syndrome is a beautiful collection of letters, written by those who care for someone who has Down Syndrome. There is more real, raw emotion in these pages than most

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over-workshopped, MFA-doused poetry and fiction collections being published these days. The subtitle is on the mark: this is a celebration of human beings who share a similar way of life, but who are loved unconditionally. Here’s an example from a mother in Shediac Bridge, New Brunswick. What I love about my son Finn: • His openness and sweet, loving nature. • How he studies the wheels under his toy car as it moves. • How he brings me little pieces of paper/stickers that he finds to put in the garbage. • How he brings Lily her boots and coat when it’s time to go. He likes to keep her on task. • How he loves to help out with laundry by sorting the clothes or putting them into washer or dryer. • The positive impact he has on Lily; I like to think that she will grow up with more compassion and kindness towards others. • His easy, contagious laughter. • His coyness. • His smile. • The way he greets a loved one after a short absence: he comes running with arms outstretched, exclaiming loudly like you are the most important person in the world. • His determination. • The tenderness he has towards his sister. • How at 8 months old, he had open heart surgery and recovered like a champ. • The pride I feel at his successes. • Witnessing the joy he brings to others. • That he made me a mother. That I am his mother. I still worry about how the world will accept him when he gets older and he isn’t as cute (did I mention that he is adorable?), but he is surrounded by a family and community that loves and supports him. Finn has already made the world around him a little kinder, maybe that’s the most important step. Tammy, mother of Finn—Shediac Bridge, NB

An Extra Dash of Love is a tender rendering of local folks’ emotional bravery and compassion for those in their lives who are deserving of each and every dash of this type of affection. — Nathaniel G Moore




By Finley Martin Acorn Press

Finley Martin’s new novel, Killings at Little Rose, quickly spirals into darkness and intrigue as its plot twists into an ever-tighter knot, with writing that mines

everything necessary in a mystery—a snooping private female investigator, the seamy underside of dark secrets washed ashore in a coastal village, eventual mayhem and murder. Anne Brown is the central character. A mother, widow and undercover private investigator, she is hired as an engineer to reduce the waste, property loss and vandalism affecting the profitability of the only seafood processing company, M Gauthier and Sons, in Little Rose Harbour. Martin has the sure hand of a natural storyteller as he makes his readers see, feel and understand the strength of his protagonist, Anne. As a rational detective, she holds her emotions in check while sifting through the local gossip, rumours and lies that envelop her work environment, outside relationships and eventually threaten her safety.

“Evoking Ursula LeGuin’s unflinching humane and moral authority, Nina Munteanu takes us into the lives of four generations of women and their battles against a global giant that controls and manipulates Earth’s water. In language both gritty and hauntingly poetic, Munteanu delivers an uncompromising warning of our future.” —Lynn Hutchinson Lee, multimedia artist, author, and playwright “A book of genuine power, A Diary in the Age of Water, is simply and beautifully told. The story stirs its readers, teaches them about the importance of water, and leaves an imprint on the canvas of the literary and scientific world.” —Lucia Monica Gorea, author of Journey Through My Soul 9781771337373 • $22.95 • 328 pgs. • June 2020



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Through Anne, Martin gives the reader significant insight into the lobster fishing and processing industry with remarkably detailed narration. We crack into the lobsters, right beside Anne, as the beads of sweat drip down her forehead. The familiar sound of the women’s chitchat— centred on the old, secret remains of a baby discovered in a field—hums in the background before getting lost in the noise of machinery. After digging up old family grudges, seedy relationships, hidden identities and legal shenanigans in the coastal town, Anne finds herself in hot water, and the tension builds from there. Finley’s latest novel once again demonstrates his remarkably deft hand in crafting compelling stories of great intrigue. — Desiree Anstey DIRTY BIRDS

Morgan Murray Breakwater Books

According to Giller Prize-winning author Will Ferguson, Morgan Murray’s debut novel Dirty Birds is “wholly original” and marks the arrival of Canada’s answer to Kurt Vonnegut. I’m all for narcissists, so long as they make it interesting. Murray’s protagonist, Milton Ontario, has convinced me that we may be dealing with a coming-of-age typhoon of the self, akin to that Greek hunter from Thespiae in Boeotia who fell in love with his own reflection. How such an outrageous idea—becoming a poet—comes to nest in the mind of an altogether, incredibly average man-child living in the middle of absolute nowhere was entirely an accident. I could listen to / read about this Milton character all day long. Loaded with backstory upon backstory and fuelled with the spirit of (Yes, Will, you are correct) Vonnegut, plus Hunter S Thompson, Mark Leyner and Will Self, this gigantic novel won’t shut up. We learn of Milton’s sick desire to become a poet and find his hero Leonard Cohen in Montreal, in the optimistic time when the possibility of America’s first Black president was still that—a possibility. Reading this debut novel was like pulling an all-nighter and running to 44

class without any sleep, with one obvious problem: you aren’t in school anymore and you’re wearing your pajamas, standing outside of the school and it’s the weekend. Milton wanders ghost-like in Montreal in search of his hero and his sanity. At a job interview, Milton is asked if he has a high tolerance for monotony, to which he replies, “Yes, I’m from Saskatchewan.” This book would make a great Canadian film starring Michael Cera. Refreshingly backlit with the nostalgia of Obamaera planet Earth, riffing on a myriad of contemporary themes including intergenerational tensions and anxieties, global economic frailty and the pursuit of young desire, Dirty Birds is the perfect misfit read for your next layaway, or when you’re down to your last shot of whisky. It provides days’ worth of warm, weird feelings. — Nathaniel G Moore


Wayne Curtis Pottersfield Press

The famed Miramichi River—Wayne Curtis’ boyhood milieu and part-time residence to this day—usually provides the setting for his expansive literary output. Its landscapes and inhabitants are Curtis’ regular canvas. The author portrays both the glorious beauty of the surroundings, and the unrelenting hardships of living in an impoverished rural locale, with understanding, acceptance and a finely developed eye. The 13 stories of Winter Road offer different interpretations of this duality. Curtis vividly recalls the past using an array of emotions and insights. At the heart of many of these works is a sense of melancholic longing for an alteration of past actions/circumstances. Protagonists rarely experience a more rewarding outcome. Reminiscence and regret are explored through backward glances at missed opportunities and unfulfilled dreams and aspirations. Three of the stories are linked. They tellingly examine a couple at various stages of their enjoined and then separated lives. First, they are returning to the narrator’s home town as youthful lovebirds. Later, the marriage has withered and the dreams of the narrator to refurbish his family home are dashed. His estranged wife lives there while he is exiled to a city apartment. Finally, after decades away, he returns to ponder and consider his life while visiting the now derelict house. Always, the ever-present beauty of

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the natural world is minutely, lovingly described by Curtis. Several of the stories have a singular, simple activity—burning potato stalks, picking apples, sleighriding at Christmas—as their basis. Curtis imbues them with a finely observed immediacy of nature and simultaneously, the humanity of those involved. All his stories lay bare the souls of those who call the Miramichi home. They are regretful, unfulfilled, memory-laden and wistful in their telling. Curtis’ obvious love for the place and the people shines through, sometimes shaded in nostalgia, sometimes burdened and often bloodied by life. But ultimately unbowed. — Bill MacPherson LIKE RUM-DRUNK ANGELS

Tyler Enfield

The solution? Recruit brother Samuel, friend Ned and a middle-aged, boozy Gollum-like character named Bob Temple, and become a band of trainrobbing outlaws. The gang sets off from Arizona, getting into some low-stakes mischief, engaging in what Enfield calls “life’s most vibrant and absurd arc: youth.” They learn to shoot pistols and discover the joys of dynamite, useful in their series of train robberies. A strange series of heists is one of Enfield’s more clever and original subplots. As the dynamite runs low, so do the good times, and the story becomes a more solemn affair through the last quarter. Francis’ journey becomes a solo one with some awful lows. This transition, from fun to serious, feeling less like a good old “duster” as it comes to a close, is done with such subtlety that it wasn’t until I finished that I realized how well Enfield had pulled off that shift in tone. — Aaron Williams


Veronica Post Conundrum Press

Goose Lane Editions

“I’ll bet you don’t skip dialogue,” is a quote I saw once. I forget who said it but I took it to heart. I’m not sure if Tyler Enfield has seen the same quote, but he makes a successful case for that same argument in his new novel, Like Rum-Drunk Angels. (The title comes from a line in the book describing the snow-capped Sierra Mountains as viewed from the baking scrubland to the east.) Add Enfield’s landscape portraiture to his dry, unskippable dialogue, and you’ve got the bones of a Western. Stripped down, the story goes like this: 14-year-old Francis Blackstone falls in love with the governor of Arizona’s daughter. She can’t be with Francis because he has no money.

that though his life is precarious, this is the place he considers to be home. One can’t help but think of another dog/traveller pair, Tin Tin and his dog Snowy, from the wildly popular comic series The Adventures of Tin Tin by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. Post shares Hergé’s clean drawing style, but instead of the bright, solid colours of Tin Tin, Post mostly uses pen with pale washes of grey. Occasionally, pitch black is used to good effect, as the friends explore caves and a tunnel leftover from the country’s communist history. Equal care is given to the classical architecture found in the city’s esteemed bathhouses, as to its graffiti-scrawled rough edges while the two go about daily life on the run. Scenes unfold with a steady rhythm as drawings alternate between enclosed boxes and those left to breathe, while full spreads show both bucolic landscapes and the city’s touristic vistas. Langosh and Peppi manage to escape deportation one more time by crossing a border, discovering along the way that the countryside is not such a welcome place to visit. But on the return to the city, the Syrian refugee crisis has spilled into the country, with train stations and streets turned into tent cities overnight. Families are being separated and uncertainty is high. The relative freedom that Langosh has, in spite of his challenges, becomes apparent, fully coming into relief in the book’s final scene. This is a book for the times we live in, where the freedom to traverse global borders has come to be expected by many, but not experienced by even more. With a deft touch, humour and unflinching look at the issues she became familiar with while living in Hungary herself, Post has made a memorable addition to the graphic novel genre. — Emma FitzGerald

Langosh and Peppi: Fugitive Days, Veronica Post’s debut graphic novel, begins in Budapest. The protagonist, Langosh, is the fugitive in question, a man on the run from possible imprisonment/deportation back to Canada, where he awaits punishment for minor crimes. His dog Peppi, and loyal friend Yeva, are depicted with warmth and humour, and give the sense NUMBER 91 | SUMMER 2020


YOUNG READERS Atlantic Books Today

Young reader reviews

by Lisa Doucet

characters to create her playful scenes. The stars have a quirkiness about them that might make readers believe that they are enjoying the mayhem and mischief that is afoot. Despite the Moon King’s decision to recruit all the animals to help fix his gaffe, there is no sense of urgency here: this is pure fun and fancifulness from start to finish. Whether it is being read at bedtime or storytime, this vibrant and imaginative tale is sure to delight young audiences.


Cara Kansala Breakwater Books (Ages 3-7)


Bursting with colour and joyful energy, folk artist Cara Kansala’s new picture book feels like a traditional fairytale, or a beloved nursery rhyme. It is the story of the hapless Moon King, who trips over the night and scatters the stars throughout the land, sea and sky. To fix the mess he has made and restore order to the skies, the pink-cheeked Moon King rouses the birds and sleepy woodland creatures. Soon the bear, hare, moose and fox find themselves collecting the misplaced stars. The birds fly them “back up to the night/where dreams and wishes are.” This collaborative effort sets everything right. The Moon King expresses his tremendous gratitude by shining brightly and serenading one and all with “his moonlit lullaby.” Lilting and lovely, the gentle and soothing rhymes have a pleasing rhythm. Together the words and images exude whimsy and wonder. Kansala uses a bright, lively palette of primary and secondary colours along with bold, black outlines and cartoon-like 46

Sheree Fitch, illustrated by Carolyn Fisher Nimbus Publishing (Ages 3-7)

In this joyful, exuberant, nostalgic ode to summer, beloved poet/ word artist Sheree Fitch and highly acclaimed illustrator Carolyn Fisher capture the wonders of the season, from the moment our eager summer feet dare to burst forth in all their barenaked glory! These busy appendages run in the sun and play outdoor games, they climb trees and comb beaches, swim and make pictures in the sand. They frolic in puddles, lazily bask in the heat of the summer sun and zealously dig in the mud. They scoot and chase and dance and swing until they “shiver a little/in a sweater-time day” and realize it’s time to bring out the woolly socks and shoes. Sheree Fitch’s effervescent verse leaps off the page; it revels and romps in seemingly carefree abandon. Yet each word and phrase is carefully chosen and/or crafted, and unerringly creates a clear image in the mind’s eye:

somersault-silly, fantastic-gymnastic, bare-naked summer feet; wet-wormy, squeal-squirmy, gross-germy, our dirtiest EVERRRR, bare-naked summer feet. Her obvious delight in words is infectious and inspiring—in the way she combines them and re-creates them in ways that are sweet sounding and evocative. While her words are playful, lively and exuberant, they also profoundly capture the essence of summer. Fisher’s warm and vibrant mixed-media illustrations are equally energetic, bringing an added layer of richness to these rhymes. Brilliant, swirling colours, expressive faces and lots of big and busy feet fill each page, vividly rendering the joy that is at this story’s heart. A magnificent pairing, this is a timeless celebration of summer’s magic. WHEN EMILY WAS SMALL

Written and illustrated by Lauren Soloy Tundra Books (ages 4-8)

In her debut picture book, Nova Scotia’s Lauren Soloy brings readers a tender glimpse into the mind and heart of a young Emily Carr, before she became the beloved Canadian artist, whose work is recognized and celebrated throughout the world. Despite her mother’s admonition to not dirty her Sunday dress, Emily’s curiosity and fascination with the natural world lead her to her own wonder-filled explorations. With a joyful reverence, she traipses through her father’s vegetable garden, weaves her way through the currant bushes and lovingly investigates all the forgotten wild places. As Emily opens herself to the sights and smells and sounds— the bees and blossoms and butterflies that beckon—she finds peace. Immersed in these wonders, she becomes attuned to the subtle mysteries all around her: the sunlight glowing in the shadows; the marvelous songs emanating from the seas and trees; the stillness that thrums with life and secrets.

Sometimes a book is literally a guide, pointing the way to astounding vistas, scenic rides and the freshest of air. Our Time to… GET OUT! collection will take you there, whether your idea of a good outing is bird watching, fossil hunting, berry picking or climbing trees.

Be A Wilderness Detective Peggy Kochanoff Nimbus Publishing, $14.95

East Coast Fossils Jeffrey C. Domm Formac Publishing, $14.95

Eating Wild Jamie Simpson Nimbus Publishing, $21.95

Birds of Nova Scotia Jeffrey C. Domm Formac Publishing, $24.95

Hikes of Newfoundland Katie Broadhurst Boulder Books, $27.95

Hiking Trails of Cape Breton, 2nd Edition Michael Haynes Goose Lane Editions, $19.95

Hiking Trails of Mainland Nova Scotia, 9th Edition Michael Haynes Goose Lane Editions, $24.95

Hiking Trails of New Brunswick, 4th Edition Marianne Eiselt Goose Lane Editions, $27.95

The Best of The Great Trail, Vol. 1 Michael Haynes Goose Lane Editions, $29.95

The Great Trees of New Waterfalls of Nova Scotia Brunswick, 2nd Edition Benoit Lalonde David Palmer Goose Lane Editions, $27.95 Goose Lane Editions, $27.95

Where to Cycle in Nova Scotia Adam Barnett Nimbus Publishing, $24.95



Sample • Borrow • Buy NUMBER 91 | SUMMER 2020



“A touching and universal narrative.” —CM Reviews review “A great opportunity for a discussion of culture—what it means and how we become part of one.” —Library Matters September / Ages 4–7 / 9781773214481 hc

Atlantic Books Today YOUNG READERS

When she is jolted back into the world of dirty dresses and scolding mothers, a world in which she feels helpless and small, Emily’s heart reminds her that she is part of a bigger, beautiful world. While this book captures just one tiny moment of Emily’s childhood, a single afternoon of backyard investigations, it speaks volumes about who she was and how she experienced her world. Soloy astutely distinguishes Emily’s feelings of smallness when she is being reminded of all the things she shouldn’t do, from her feelings of reverence when she is lost in her wilderness becoming Small: a creature who is full of life and awe and exuberance. It is then that she meets Wild, and together Small and Wild delight in nature’s profound goodness and almost discover a special secret. Alas, Emily is forced back to her everyday life of trying to be respectable … and small. With beautifully crafted sentences and exquisite turns of phrase, Soloy has created a simple but revealing portrait of a girl who looked carefully, listened with her heart and whose heightened awareness of the world around her enabled her to “danc(e) to the rhythm of her own small heart.” The mixed-media illustrations are lush and vibrant, loose-lined with bold, dark outlines. Richly textured with depth and hints of shadows, the colours are beautifully saturated. With her own distinct style, Soloy’s poetic prose and sumptuous illustrations pay homage to this beloved artist and writer, and give readers of all ages a sense of how one small girl’s sensitivity to nature’s beauty lead her to her own artistic expressions. WAITING UNDER WATER

Riel Nason Scholastic Canada (Ages 9-12)

Coming of age against all odds in the midst of the Arab Spring. “Remarkable.” —CM Reviews October / Ages 10–14 9781773214399 pb / 9781773214405 hc

Pre-order at and receive 25% discount. Coupon code: ABT Valid until 09/30/20

annick press 48

Twelve-year-old Hope is doing her best to accept the inevitable: she and her family will be moving to Ontario at the end of the summer because of her father’s new job. Hope knows that her parents don’t want to leave their home in St. David’s, New Brunswick, either, but they all have to embrace the change. She genuinely tries to savour and enjoy every moment of her last summer in the place she loves. Then St. David’s is chosen as one of five small towns to appear on a national television show as “Canada’s Tiniest Treasures.” Hope and her best friend Willa work tirelessly to win the contest that will select one of these five as the ultimate Canadian Tiny Treasure. As she pours her heart and soul into capturing what makes St. David’s uniquely wonderful, she tries to imagine who she will be, and how she will survive, when she has to start all over somewhere new. In her first novel for young readers, Riel Nason has created a believable protagonist and heartwarming celebration of place. Hope’s apprehension about having to leave behind her friends,

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and everything she holds dear about her home, is realistcally portrayed, and her fears are very relatable. Will she be able to make new friends in Ontario? Will Willa forget about her once she’s gone? Will people at her new school make fun of her for her Transient Vocal Tic disorder? The first-person narration perfectly captures Hope’s voice, thoughts and worries in a realistic and sensitive way. The entire cast of characters are similarly authentic and engaging, with Hope’s parents emerging as sympathetic and understanding of how difficult this is for her. Nason is particularly adept at capturing a sense of place in this story and all the ways in which St. David’s is special for Hope. This is a slow-paced, introspective and earnest middle-grade tale, a perfect summer read and a thoughtful look at friendship and small-town life. ■ LISA DOUCET is the co-manager of Woozles Children’s Bookstore in Halifax. She shares her passion for children’s and young adult books as our young readers editor and book reviewer.


Books created in Acadie - Printed in Canada 506-382-1367

CzeCh TeChno & oTher STorieS of MuSiC

by Mark Jarman From one of Canada’s foremost prose stylists comes a suite of new stories based around travel and music. Set in Naples, the Czech Republic, Dublin, New Denmark, NB, and Victoria, BC, the language is electric, acrobatic, and always teeming with Life! 96 pages • illustrated • 7x10 • $18 • 978-1-77214-138-2

“Distinctly urban, with a twist!”

Atlantic Books Today NEWS FEATURE


Located at the LaHave Bakery, wharfside. Please come and see us for a variety of new and gently used books. OPEN DAILY, 10AM - 4PM

AN ECLECTIC SHOWCASE FOR THE DISCRIMINATING Literature • Original Visual Art from Atlantic Canada • First Nations

Privateers Upper Water Privat a eers Wharf Historic Properties, 1869 Up at U per Wa W ater St. at Halifax NS. B3J 1S9 | 902.423.2940 | Newfoundland EmporiumAntique & Souvenir Shop 11 Broadway Street. Corner Brook, NL 709.634.9376 |


Chocolate River Publishing

An Extra Dash of Love letters, poems, and artwork celebrating some wonderful people

New to Atlantic Canada Publishers Dorothy Lander & John Graham-Pole the only multimedia publisher dedicated to the global arts & healing movement

HARP — Healing Arts, Reconciling People Support Canadian publishing & order online at

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2020 Atlantic Book Awards. Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction/Prix Alistair MacLeod Pour Recueil De Nouvelles

Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing/Prix littéraire de l’Atlantique pour publication scientifique

J.M. Abraham Poetry Award/Prix de poésie J.M. Abraham

Martha Wilson

L. Jane McMillan

Belated Bris of the Brainsick

Nosy White Woman BIBLIOASIS

Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature /Prix Ann Connor Brimer pour la littérature pour enfants

Sheree Fitch

EveryBody’s Different on EveryBody Street NIMBUS PUBLISHING

APMA Best AtlanticPublished Book Award /Prix du meilleur livre publié au Canada atlantique de l’Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association

Almost Feral


Truth and Conviction: Donald Marshall Jr. and the Mi’kmaw Quest for Justice

Lucas Crawford


IBC Atlantic Book Awards?


Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing/Prix littéraire de l’Atlantique Democracy 250 pour publication historique

Andrew Theobald

Dangerous Enemy Sympathizers: Canadian Internment Camp B, 1940–1945 GOOSE LANE EDITIONS

Evelyn Richardson NonFiction Award/Prix Evelyn Richardson pour une oeuvre non romanesque

Ami McKay

Daughter of Family G: A Memoir of Cancer Genes, Love and Fate KNOPF CANADA

Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction) /Prix littéraire de Dartmouth Jim Connors pour oeuvre de fiction

Marina Endicott The Difference KNOPF CANADA

Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration/Prix Lillian Shepherd pour l’excellence des illustrations

Sydney Smith

Small in the City GROUNDWOOD BOOKS

Margaret & John Savage First Book Award (Fiction) /Prix première oeuvre littéraire Margaret et John Savage (Fiction)

Amy Spurway

Margaret & John Savage First Book Award (NonFiction)/Prix première oeuvre littéraire Margaret et John Savage – oeuvre non romanesque

Gemma Hickey Almost Feral


Robbie Robertson Dartmouth Book Award (Non-Fiction)/Prix littéraire de Dartmouth pour oeuvre non romanesque (nommé en l’honneur de Robbie Robertson)

Ami McKay

Daughter Of Family G: A Memoir of Cancer Genes, Love and Fate KNOPF CANADA

Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award /Prix Thomas Raddall pour une oeuvre de fiction d’un auteur de l’Atlantique

Michael Crummey The Innocents




Winners were announced on June 30 at our Virtual Awards Gala. Watch online at

Read Local, Buy Local

Buying local books supports authors, illustrators, bookstores, and publishers in your region affected by COVID-19

GARY THE SEAGULL Words by Christian Johnston Art by Paul Hammond

ALL ’BOUT CANADA Words by Elizabeth F. Hill Art by Alex MacAskill

SUMMER FEET Words by Sheree Fitch Art by Carolyn Fisher

978-1-77108-836-7 $12.95 | children’s picture book | ages 3–7

978-1-77108-860-2 $19.95 | history | all ages

978-1-77108-854-1 $22.95 | picture book | ages 3–7

Winner, Anne Conner Brimer Award for Atlantic Children’s Literature

THE MERMAID HANDBOOK Words by Taylor Widrig Art by Briana Corr Scott

THE BOOK OF SELKIE Words and art by Briana Corr Scott

978-1-77108-865-7 $19.95 | children’s cookbook | ages 8+

978-1-77108-820-6 $24.95 | picture (and paper doll) book ages 3–7

EVERYBODY’S DIFFERENT ON EVERYBODY STREET Words by Sheree Fitch Art by Emma FitzGerald

978-1-77108-600-4 $22.95 | children’s picture book | ages 4–7

Author’s 100th Book!

Summer Globe & Mail Pick

THROW DOWN YOUR SHADOWS Deborah Hemming 978-1-77108-838-1 $22.95 | fiction

GOOD MOTHERS DON’T Laura Best 978-1-77108-828-2 $24.95 | fiction


NOVA SCOTIA’S HISTORIC HARBOURS Joan Dawson 978-1-77108-858-9 $22.95 | history


978-1-77108-826-8 $18.95 | memoir @nimbuspub

MEDICINAL HERBS OF EASTERN CANADA Words and art by Brenda Jones 978-1-77108-862-6 $22.95 | nature/guidebook