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So Many Stories to Tell

Memorial’s alumni are leaders in the cultural life of the province and of the nation. We are pleased to bring you a selection of some of the more recent books by alumni. Among them are prominent and successful authors as well as those who made their first venture into the world of literature.

Ann and Seamus, by Kevin Major, B.Sc.'73; 109 pp, with illustrations, cloth, $16.95, Groundwood Books, Toronto ON, 2003

Nominated for a Governor General’s Award, Ann and Seamus brings together two remarkable artistic talents to tell the story of Ann Harvey, one of the great unsung heroes of maritime history who at the age of 17 in 1828 almost single-handedly saved the lives of 160 shipwrecked people. The words of Kevin Major are complemented by the illustrations of one of Canada's foremost visual artists, Dr. David Blackwood LLD (Hon.)’92. This collaboration will undoubtedly result in a book as captivating for its art as it will be for its poetry, as captivating for adults as it will be for young people.

Points of View, by Rex Murphy, BA(Hons.)’66, LLD’97, 312 pp, cloth, $34.99, McClelland & Stewart Toronto ON, 2003

Rex Murphy has selected the best from thirty years of writing and speech. Here you’ll find tributes to people as apparently unlinked as Joey Smallwood and William Shakespeare; book reviews that turn into instructive essays about other places in other centuries; hard-hitting attacks on politicians and other malefactors that will have you cheering as you read; hilarious satires on human folly; and gentle memories of Newfoundland and its people.

The Doryman, by Dr Maura Hanrahan, BA ’84; 232 pp, paper, $16.95, Flanker Press, St. John’s, NL, 2003

Maura Hanrahan’s first novel--part tribute to a way of life that is gone, part lament for the storm-tossed lives of those who lived on the sea--follows the story of Richard Hanrahan from age nine when he is ripped from the safety and comfort of the schoolroom to work in the seasonal shore fishery on Newfoundland's South Coast in the late 1800s. Later, hardening into premature manhood in the Banks fishery, he at once strives to mould himself into the stern shape of his fisherman father, yet longs to escape and find a better life for his own family.

Hitching a Ride: The Unsolved Murder of Dana Bradley, by Darrin McGrath, BA ’89, MA ’92; 147 pp, pictorial section, nonfiction, paper, $16.95, Flanker Press, St. John’s, NL, 2003

Darrin McGrath, records the tragic and riveting account of the unsolved murder of Dana Bradley who was found murdered in a wooded area on the outskirts of St. John's in December 1981. A manhunt for the killer culminated in the 1986 arrest of a suspect who confessed to the vicious attack and later recanted. Twenty-two years after Dana's brutal death the police are still searching for her killer.

Merrybegot, by Mary Dalton, MA ’75; 72 pages, poetry, paper, $14.00, Signal Editions, imprint of Vehicule Press, Montreal, P.Q., 2003

The Atlantic landscape, its water and weather, is made to play a memorable role in these poems, reflecting the often anarchic vitality of a complex, sea-dependent people. But the true marvel of Merrybegot, Dalton's third book, is the linguistic energy, the "salt accent," of its various speakers. Call them prayers or curses. Fictions or true stories. Mary Dalton's new poems are voices caught in print, fashioned from the vigorous idioms and cadences of Newfoundland speech. Readers will, likely for the first time, encounter words like "conkerbells";, "drite", "mollyfoostering", "mawmouth" and "elt"--potent words rich with the music of their centuries-old origins.

The Story of Labrador: An intimate look at the history of the land and people of Labrador, by the Hon. Dr. Bill Rompkey, BA’57, Gr.Dip.Ed.’58, MA ’62, LLD (Hon.)’00; 224 pp, 24 photographs, paper, $29.95, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal, P.Q., 2003

Bill Rompkey describes an emerging giant of the near north with all its racial, geographical, political, and social history. Using original research, including personal interviews, and his 40-year association with Labrador, Rompkey tells the story of Labrador's people, aboriginal and non-aboriginal alike. Above all, The Story of Labrador is the story of Newfoundland and Labrador, two uneasy stepsisters, each with its own strong identity, trying to share a common house.

The Labrador Memoir of Dr. Harry Paddon: 1912-1938. Edited by Dr Ronald Rompkey, BA ’65, B.Ed.’66, MA’68; 360 pp, illustrations, cloth, $44.95, McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal, P.Q., 2003

Dr. Harry Paddon's memoir is an extensive account of life in Labrador before Confederation. As the Grenfell Mission's principal physician for over 25 years, Dr. Paddon travelled extensively throughout Labrador by dog team and by boat. In his journals he fashions a portrait of the traditional rhythms of trapping and fishing in Labrador before industrial development. He chronicles the demands of northern medicine in response to pervasive threats from tuberculosis and deficiency diseases, including a moving description of the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918-19.

The Jug in the Window: The history of the Pentecostal Church, Springdale, Newfoundland and Labrador, by Burton K. Janes, BA ’77, MA ’91; 404 pp with 22 pages of photographs, paper, $15, Pentecostal Church, Box 8. Springdale, NL, A0J 1T0, 2003

Using an eclectic range of sources the author has crafted a selective but in-depth history of the Pentecostal Church in Springdale, Newfoundland. In addition to his detailed discussion, the book includes an entertaining set of appendices that range from brief memoirs by members of the church to listings of such significant events as births, deaths and marriages from 1927 when the church was founded to 2002 when the author completed his research.

Heroic Companion, A collection of stories of heroism about the Newfoundland dog, by Patrick Pickett MUC ’43, BA(Ed.)’66; 84 pp with photographs and illustrations, paper, Patrick Pickett publication, 795 Waverly Road, Dartmouth, NS, B2X 2G6

The Newfoundland dog has a premier reputation as “the hero dog.” Heroic Companions draws on a rich variety of sources for the stories retold in its pages. From the earliest traceable point of origin, 1200 years ago, it played a significant role in the lives of the native people. The breed has gone on to make its mark on world history. This book offers a glimpse into that world.

The Boston Box, by Carmelita McGrath BA ’80, B.Ed’81; 32pp, full colour, paper $11.95, Killick Press, St. John’s, NL,

Mary dreams of copper and silver, of sailing a boat to Spain, of a silk dress trimmed in lace and tiny beads. But in the harsh reality of 1930s Newfoundland she spends her twelfth summer making salt fish with the grown women, working hard under the hot sun. The price of fish goes down, but nothing can drive the dreams from Mary's soul. Even Aunt Chrissie's box of cast‑offs from Boston brings a special magic to her life.

What is Invisible by Beth Ryan, BA ’87; short stories 172 pp, paper, $16.95, Killick Press, St. John’s, NL,

This award-winning collection of short stories recreates time and place with startling vividness. Downtown St. John's in the 1970s, an outport garden party in the 1920s, a contemporary Florida poolside -- these are not backdrops but breathe life into the fiction. Here the classic conflict between ordinary people and the extraordinary complexities of life unfolds. A woman strives to understand her existence after cancer threatens. A teenaged babysitter really, really wants nice things. A cop throws his job on the line for a little adoration.

Memorial University also has its own book-publishing arm: ISER Books which publishes works in anthropology, sociology, folklore, women's studies, geography, history, and economics, and issues-oriented collections - native peoples, social science advocacy, the fisheries - with emphasis on Newfoundland and Labrador, the Eastern Arctic, and the North Atlantic Rim. ISER Books also markets the remaining volumes 4 and 5 of the Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador. Catalogue at: www.mun.ca/iser/books.html


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