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Galore

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Paperback published by Other Press (Other Press)

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About This Book
Winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book, Caribbean & Canada and the Canadian Authors Association Literary Award; Finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Book Award, and the Winterset Award

When a whale beaches itself on the shore of the remote coastal town of Paradise Deep, the last thing any of the townspeople expect to find inside it is a man, silent and reeking of fish, but remarkably alive. The discovery of this mysterious person, soon christened Judah, sets the town scrambling for answers as its most prominent citizens weigh in on whether he is man or beast, blessing or curse, miracle or demon. Though Judah is a shocking addition, the town of Paradise Deep is already full of unusual characters. King-me Sellers, self-appointed patriarch, has it in for an inscrutable woman known only as Devine’s Widow, with whom he has a decades-old feud. Her granddaughter, Mary Tryphena, is just a child when Judah washes ashore, but finds herself tied to him all her life in ways she never expects. Galore is the story of the saga that develops between these families, full of bitterness and love, spanning two centuries.
   With Paradise Deep, award-winning novelist Michael Crummey imagines a realm where the line between the everyday and the otherworldly is impossible to discern. Sprawling and intimate, stark and fantastical, Galore is a novel about the power of stories to shape and sustain us.
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Winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book, Caribbean & Canada and the Canadian Authors Association Literary Award; Finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Book Award, and the Winterset Award

When a whale beaches itself on the shore of the remote coastal town of Paradise Deep, the last thing any of the townspeople expect to find inside it is a man, silent and reeking of fish, but remarkably alive. The discovery of this mysterious person, soon christened Judah, sets the town scrambling for answers as its most prominent citizens weigh in on whether he is man or beast, blessing or curse, miracle or demon. Though Judah is a shocking addition, the town of Paradise Deep is already full of unusual characters. King-me Sellers, self-appointed patriarch, has it in for an inscrutable woman known only as Devine’s Widow, with whom he has a decades-old feud. Her granddaughter, Mary Tryphena, is just a child when Judah washes ashore, but finds herself tied to him all her life in ways she never expects. Galore is the story of the saga that develops between these families, full of bitterness and love, spanning two centuries.
   With Paradise Deep, award-winning novelist Michael Crummey imagines a realm where the line between the everyday and the otherworldly is impossible to discern. Sprawling and intimate, stark and fantastical, Galore is a novel about the power of stories to shape and sustain us.
Product Details
Paperback (352 pages)
Published: March 29, 2011
Publisher: Other Press
Imprint: Other Press
ISBN: 9781590514344
Other books byMichael Crummey
  • River Thieves

    River Thieves
    A Novel
    "Vibrantly written and uniquely evocative" (Denver Post), River Thievesis the riveting story of a group of European settlers of the New World in the early nineteenth century. The Peytons, their enigmatic housekeeper, and the men who manage their fishing and trapping concerns on the shores of Newfoundland live lives of punishing physicality, inarticulate longing, and violence. Their misunderstandings and compromises have tragic consequences not only for their own community but also for the Beothuk, or Red Indians, a people on the verge of extinction. With penetrating insight, Michael Crummey captures both the vast sweep of history and the intimate lives of those caught in its wake.

    Flesh and Blood

    Flesh and Blood
    From the author of the best-selling, Giller-nominated River Thieves comes a heartbreaking and masterful collection of short fiction. With uncommon elegance and compassion, Michael Crummey has created a community of exiles, characters estranged from their home, from their families or, just as often, from themselves. Set largely in the small Newfoundland mining town of Black Rock, but straying as far west as Vancouver and as far east as China, these stories are subtle, stark portrayals of people alternately looking for or trying desperately to escape their place in the world. A young boy confuses love and allegiance, then stumbles into the complexities of adulthood; a brother and sister fall in love with the same woman; a frustrated wife protests her husband’s neglect by going on strike with the miners’ union; a lover’s drug habit reunites a woman with the sister she has lost. Anchor Books is proud to publish an expanded edition of Michael Crummey’s brilliant collection Flesh and Blood, which includes three original stories written just for this edition. Graceful, affecting, and generous of spirit, these stories are unforgettable.

    Hard Light

    Hard Light
    In Hard Light, Michael Crummey retells and reinvents his father's stories of outport Newfoundland and the Labrador fishery of a half century ago. Speaking through generations of storytellers, he conjures a world of hard toil and heavy weather, shot through with stoicism, grim humour, endurance, and love. This is writing that is supple and charged with intensity, language that vivifies --- electrifies --- whoever and whatever it describes."Michael Crummey's lucid, dexterous writing shies away from nothing, gives us the concrete particulars of daily life, the burials and butcheries, the night-time thoughts. He knows this world from the inside." -- John Steffler

    The Wreckage

    The Wreckage
    Having achieved considerable success with his first novel, River Thieves, Michael Crummey has written a book that is equally stunning and compelling. The Wreckage is a truly epic, yet twisted, romance that unfolds over decades and continents. It engages readers on the austere shores of Newfoundland’s fishing villages and drags them across to Japanese POW camps during some of the worst events of the Second World War. Haunting, lyrical, and deeply intimate, Crummey’s language fully exposes his characters’ vulnerabilities as they struggle to come to terms with their guilt and regret over decisions made during their impulsive youths. In the fishing villages of Newfoundland we come across an itinerant Wish Furey. He’s a drifter and a projectionist, traveling from island to island bringing films to isolated communities. A Catholic in a staunchly Protestant community, working with an alcoholic, gambling partner, Wish is immediately labeled an outsider. On Little Fogo Island, he spots a desirable young woman in the audience and embarks on an unwavering mission to possess her. Mercedes Parsons – Sadie – is equally infatuated and yields to Wish's advances as much as her chaste upbringing will allow. Crummey masterfully captures the ferocity of the young romance, the coiled up sexual tension exploding in instances of pure pleasure and ending often in frustration. The pair can steal only scattered moments alone as Sadie’s mother puts up a formidable defense against Wish, whom she believes will bring only trouble. However intent he seems on winning Sadie, Wish's character remains mysteriously closed. He is painfully silent around her family, which only strengthens their mistrust. Crummey seems to purposefully disclose only the barest of Wish's intimate thoughts and motivations. While the romance intensifies, Crummey casts his lovers in a wider shadow. He brings to life the Newfoundland coastline, its unforgiving waters, the religious fervor and prejudice of its inhabitants, their ceaseless work, and the collective anxiety about the burgeoning war. Unable to defeat Sadie’s mother, and unable to quell his conscience after Sadie's breathless pleading, "Don't make a whore of me," Wish flees to St. John’s and enlists in the British army. Sadie embarks on a frantic pursuit only to find him gone. Defying her family she stays in the capital, building a new life, the reality of Wish's disappearance – the acute, constant ache of it – gradually settling in. Wish lands somewhere in southeast Asia and then, finally, in a Japanese POW camp. He suffers agonizing torture under a particularly cruel guard known initially as the Interpreter. We have met the Interpreter already. Crummey has woven this man's narrative through the novel, slowly revealing the origins of his unique hatred toward the Canadian prisoners. Born in British Columbia, Nishino has experienced a harsh brand of discrimination. It is through Nishino that Crummey provides a chilling example of how prejudice can breed exceptionally brutal cycles of violence. Crummey unveils the depths of his characters’ personalities with slow deliberation. The layers of their pain, suffering, and love are peeled back with each recounted memory as the novel makes its transition into contemporary times. With each memory that is unleashed the reader comes closer to understanding the choices the protagonists made, the consequences they endured, and their subsequent feelings of frustration and guilt. Fifty years after Sadie’s flight from St. John’s, she returns to Newfoundland to scatter the ashes of her dead husband and collides with Wish whom she believed dead. Sadie reflects, “It was like being handed a photograph from a stranger’s collection, one more unexpected glimpse of that face when she thought her memories of it were complete.” Memories can be taken out, tampered with, much like the film of the projectionist. It is here that Crummey cracks open Wish's character. There is a flood of revelations; his sexual exploits as a teenager, the bet made that he could conquer Sadie, Nishino's murder, and his own troubling reaction to it. It's a narrative coup. The reader is left, as Sadie is, stunned and grappling with these revelations and how our perceptions of his character have been altered. Wish is angry, sullen, and paralyzed with guilt. Yet he is still capable of love and being loved and Sadie is the only one left to remind him. It is a testament to Crummey’s gifts as a novelist that he can flow quite easily through time, across landscapes, and between vastly different characters. He vividly captures the mental and physical anguish Wish experienced in the prison camps, and with calm lucidity explores the motives of a Japanese soldier whose actions seem inhumanly cold and calculating. Crummey toys with the readers’ sympathies, suggesting there are few distinctions between the enemy and us. He incorporates heartbreaking tragedy – the dropping of the atom bomb, lynchings in America, murderous revenge – to underscore the darker side of humanity. Crummey shows that we are capable of violence, but in the end he proves we are also capable of redemption, forgiveness, and can be led, unashamed, back to the ones we love. From the Hardcover edition.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • He ended his time on the shore in a makeshift asylum cell, shut away with the profligate stink of fish that clung to him all his days.

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  • Even as he fell he pictured her watching from across the room the next time he opened his eyes to the light.

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