The Amherstburg Echo Talks to Susan Stafford About Her New Young Readers’ Book, Pocket Pegasus

pocket-pegasus“A lover of horses as a child, Susan Stafford…is helping to provide youth with stories she herself would have liked reading. With not much to read as a horse-crazed kid, she decided to pen what she plans to be the first of a series…’I wanted to write something I would have loved if I were 11 or 12…’

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Lundrigan’s The Seary Line and Its “Rich Domestic Detail” Praised in the Latest Newfoundland Quarterly

the-seary-line-blog“In The Seary Line, Nicole Lundrigan has woven a multigenerational tapestry that explores the changing world of women in the fictional outport of Bended Knee, Newfoundland…This novel, Lundrigan’s third, is brimming with sorrow, tragedy, regret and death… Even Newfoundland politics are not broached…so that the affairs and policies of family and community can take centre stage. Lundrigan’s rich domestic details provide all the necessary context of geography and history. Lundrigan is at her best when writing the domestic arts and imbuing them with a poignant sense of meaning. For example, a lost mother’s love for her young boy is found in the outfits pulled from his trunk, and the sadness ‘[t]hat this small boy, so lost in the world, would barely get a chance to feel the affection in the stitches, the touch that lingered in the fabric.’…Lundrigan has a reputation for pitch-perfect dialect, and she earns it again in The Seary Line, But so much of this novel is about what remains unsaid, undiscovered, and unresolved. Lundrigan establishes enough dramatic tension to keep us tuning the pages…The novel’s greatest strength, and the reason to read it, is to experience the lives of such intricately wrought characters…the detail and affection in Lundrican’s stitches…create a cloth of vivid colour and lingering texture.”

Leslie Vryenhoek, Newfoundland Quarterly, Vol.101, number 3.

The Western Star lauds The Seary Line as a “dark gem,” and Nicole Lundrigan as a leader of a new wave of fiction

the-seary-line-blog

“If there is a new wave of Newfoundland fiction going on, novelist and Upper Gullies native Nicole Lundrigan may be one of its leaders… Mysteriousness and desolation pervade the atmosphere, along with a constant mood of foreboding. Lundrigan writes about Newfoundland the way William Faulkner wrote about the American south… For Lundrigan, it is the inner life of her characters, what they think and say, and the language of their subtle and grand gestures that matter… Lundrigan’s writing is visual and dark — like the brooding images in paintings by David Blackwood. In showing a contemporary reverence for the small and fleeting, Lundrigan solemnizes her characters’ every action — because these slight gestures and small moments fit with what is going on. Of interest to Lundrigan are the connections between love and loss, beauty and melancholy. Her prose is stripped down and restrained, emphasizing the subtleties and brutality of human predicament. The story is rich nonetheless, and intensified through a strong element of suspense

Pre-Christmas Signings, at Home & Abroad

Elizabeth Murphy signing An Imperfect Librarian

December 5, 7-9pm, Coles Avalon Mall, St. John’s
December 6, 7-8pm, Chapters, St. John’s
December 7, 1-2pm, At Wit’s Inn, Gower St., Craft Fair, St. John’s

Eric Sparling signing his hip, new coming of age novel Tantramar

November 30, 2-4, Chapters – Guelph, ON
December 6, 2-4, Chapters – Burlington, ON

Adrian de Hoog signing The Berlin Assignment & Borderless Deceit
November 29, 2-4, Chapters – Kingston
November 30, 2-4, Chapters – Kanata
December 6, 2-4, Chapters – South Keys

Susan Stafford signing her new young readers’ book Pocket Pegasus
November 29, 11-1, Indigo – St. Clairs
November 29, 2-4, Chapters – Windsor

Susan Stafford signing copies of her exciting new young readers' book, Pocket Pegasus

“Something Extra Permeates This Novel” Atlantic Books Today’s Bruce Johnson Gives The Seary Line a Glowing Review

“Lundrigan plaits a rich braid of tales, as effortless to read as it is to believe. The places and events that surround and shape Stella are richly rendered through a crafted style that is never affected or merely ornamental…As with celebrated Newfoundland pre-cursors, including Bernice Morgan’s “Ned” (Random Passage) or Michael Crummey’s “Wish” (The Wreckage), many of the supporting characters framing Stella are also compellingly real. Stella’s husband Leander, a man with mysterious power to find the lost, is particularly vivid… While enlisting the vernacular outport culture, Lundrigan resists the easy, precarious fall into stereotype. Her use of Newfoundland dialect always seems apt; her engaging of myth and mystery is more natural than forced. Metaphors and harbingers abound, but they are subtle… The Seary Line considers the means by which we each measure a life. This sensitivity separates the story from myriad multi-generational, historical novels that simply restore the flavour of an imagined past. While Lundrigan’s pre-confederation outports and characters do charm, and her narrative quickly pulls you in, something extra permeates this novel. It is the bare consideration of memory, regret, and how a single, slipped moment can fix a life.”

 – Bruce Johnson, Atlantic Books Today. 

Breakwater Publishes Calvin Evans’ Silk Sails: Women of Newfoundland and Their Ships

“Absolutely Fascinating…a massive compilation of primary information on women shipowners.” Silk Sails Cover

– Historical Geographer, Gordon Handcock

Existing records show that women of the Atlantic region were owners of boats, ships and waterfront properties from as early as 1650. Women’s involvement in early fishing adventures as sole owners and “co-partners in trade” was real and substantial. This sample of approximately 500 Newfoundland women depicts a hardy, durable and tenacious woman who was more than equal to the challenges and opportunities of her time. The study is complemented by interviews with some of the women who had owned working ships from the 1930s to the 1960s. A companion volume on more than 1,000 women ship owners of the Maritime provinces and Quebec is in progress.