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Books at Memorial

Bosnia: In the Footsteps of Gavrilo Princip

By Dr. Tony Fabijancic

Dr. Tony Fabijancic has authored a book which details the little told story of Gavrilo Princip, the assassin of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and unlikely catalyst of the First World War.

Published by the University of Alberta Press, Bosnia: In the Footsteps of Gavrilo Princip is many things: travelogue, personal reflection and overview of historical events.

The book chronicles Dr. Fabijancic’s journey as he shadows the ghost of the assassin from the peasant village of his birth, across the rugged breadth of Bosnia-Herzegovina, to his fateful meeting in Sarajevo with the heir apparent to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Dr. Fabijancic paints a human portrait of Princip and takes the reader into the turbulence of Bosnia then and now. It is about Balkan nationalism, political terrorism, and at the same time literary travel writing – a unique journey through a difficult country.

Because of his dual Croat-Canadian ethnicity, Dr. Fabijancic has a meaningful perspective on the events. His own travels meld with those of the conspirators, and through the book he follows the agenda of the revolutionary Gavrilo Princip as he makes his way to Sarajevo.

Bosnia: In the Footsteps of Gavrilo Princip is available at the Grenfell College Bookstore, as well as through the University of Alberta Press and Chapters.

The Polar Bear in the Rock: Two Windows on the World

By Dr. Derek Wilton et al

Labrador’s unique geology and a chapter of its traditional lore come together in a new children’s book that has just been published by the Labrador Institute, funded through International Polar Year.

The Polar Bear in the Rock: Two Windows on the World is based on an Inuit legend about a rock formation in Nain.

The book has been a pet project of the institute for months and has been met with favourable reviews since its official launch earlier this spring.

The end product is thanks to a team effort, said Martha MacDonald, the institute’s associate director, education, who has helped head up the publication.
Two students from Nunatsiavut, who had taken folklore courses from Ms. MacDonald, were hired to collected several versions of the story. The institute then recruited the help of acclaimed author Janet McNaughton, a PhD and master’s graduate of Memorial’s Folklore department, to collate the legends and weave them together as a narrative.

Dr. Derek Wilton of the Earth Sciences department wrote the geology portions of the publication, while Cynthia Colosimo, an artist from Forteau, did the illustrations.

“The idea was to show children in Labrador what geology is by looking at a particular rock formation and explaining it from the perspective of a geologist, and also giving the traditional explanation through a legend which is still told in Nain,” said Ms. MacDonald.

The book, which has been translated into Inuktitut, has been launched throughout the province including Nain, Hopedale, Happy Valley-Goose Bay and St. John’s.

Ms. MacDonald said the publication takes readers on their own geological journey while also preserving a portion of Labrador’s past.

The Polar Bear in the Rock: Two Windows on the World can be ordered through the Labrador Institute by calling 709-896-6213 or e-mailing It costs $15 plus tax.

Democracy, Diversity and Good Government

By Eric Mintz, Christopher Dunn and Livianna Tossutti

Professor Eric Mintz is the lead author of the first new textbook on Canadian politics and government in many years. Democracy, Diversity and Good Government: An Introduction to Politics in Canada was released by Pearson Canada in March.

Prof. Mintz, along with co-authors Dr. Livianna Tossutti, Brock, and Dr. Christopher Dunn of Memorial’s Political Science Department, has produced a book which shows that Canadian politics is not only interesting but very important both domestically and internationally.

According to the publisher, the book examines a political system in which the powers of government are limited by law, the rights of the people to freely engage in political activity are well established and fair elections are held to choose those who make governing decisions. It demonstrates that the diversity of Canada’s population has great political significance.

Those of different social classes, ethnic and cultural groups, regions, genders, sexual orientations and religious beliefs often have different political interests, values, and ideological perspectives. In addition, it focuses on the notion of good government – governments that are accountable, participatory, inclusive, transparent, and committed to peace and human rights.

“In this book we focus particularly on analyzing how the great diversity of Canada provides important challenges for the practice of democracy and the good government that Canadians expect,” said Prof. Mintz. “We believe it is the duty and responsibility of all citizens to understand and participate in the political life of their country. It is our hope that this book will contribute to the achievement of that important objective.”

Democracy, Diversity and Good Government is published by Pearson.

The Artificial Newfoundlander

By Larry Mathews

The Artificial Newfoundlander is a witty, playful tale of contemporary St. John’s. Hugh Norman, a middle-aged English prof researching an eccentric novelist priest, is faced with the unexpected arrivals of his mysteriously unhappy daughter, her clueless husband, and an old flame ready for rekindling. Relationships morph, lines are crossed, and Hugh confronts some unpalatable but laugh-inducing dilemmas.

Larry Mathews teaches in the English department. His short fiction has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, and in his collection of stories The Sandblasting Hall of Fame (2003). The Artificial Newfoundlander is his first novel.

Early reviews of the novel have been stellar. Wayne Johnston calls it “a wry, funny, insightful and clever book.” Ed Riche says that The Artificial Newfoundlander is “the best sort of catty fun … with claws.”

When asked why the novel was so (relatively) long in arriving, Dr. Mathews says simply that, “it never occurred to me to write a novel. But once everyone else appeared to be writing one, I thought, ‘If these guys can do it, why don’t I give it a shot?’”

Dr. Mathews explains that while the life situation of the main character is similar to his own, “the facts of the guy’s life are not.” The novel is set in an unnamed university in St. John’s, Newfoundland, but Dr. Mathews is quick to explain that the unnamed university is part of a fictional universe and is not Memorial. He says that he didn’t have a plan when writing the novel and that it was written “completely intuitively.” A second novel is in the works.

Mr. Mathews is the original founding member of The Burning Rock Collective, a group of writers who were inspired by his creative writing class. The membership includes Michael Winter, Lisa Moore, and Jessica Grant, among authors.

Published by Breakwater Books, The Artificial Newfoundlander is available in bookstores around the province.

A Whole Nuther Thang

By Dr. Mark Schoenberg

Welcome to the politically incorrect world of fictional redneck JimBob Cullum in Mark Schoenberg’s uproarious A Whole Nuther Thang. JimBob’s now got a blog in The Shopper, and he’s out to give you his opinions on everything from gay pride parades to jury trials, and all in his inimitable no-nonsense and laid-back way.

In his own twangy voice, JimBob talks about why he thinks coddling is wrong, and why you shouldn’t spare the rod when it comes to students, because teachers who give corporal punishment are the ones who care enough “to drill some sense” into the kids. He tackles the religion vs. science debate, claiming they are “both in separate ballparks” as far as he can see, since neither one can see the other’s arguments or appreciate them. JimBob snipes about health care and why no one is really talking about the real issues, but instead, it seems to him to be just politicians puffing themselves up and grappling for power.

But JimBob also introduces you to the other people in his world. There’s his mentor Mark who sometimes talks in circles, his friends, and his wife Mary Alice. In one of the book’s most moving sections, JimBob relates how and why they never were able to have children, which leads to a touching revelation about his own parents. Smart and slyly funny, A Whole Nuther Thang is as provocative as it is entertaining.

A Whole Nuther Thang is published by BookSurge Publishing. Dr. Mark Schoenberg is professor emeritus of the Counselling Centre.

Moravian Beginnings in Labrador

Edited by Dr. Hans Rollmann

As its subtitle explains, Moravian Beginnings in Labrador: Papers from a Symposium held in Makkovik and Hopedale contains a series of articles on the early days of Moravian presence in Labrador.

Edited by Dr. Hans Rollmann, a professor in the Department of Religious Studies, Moravian Beginnings includes nine essays and a foreword by Dr. Edward Roberts, former chair of Memorials’ Board of Regents.

The Moravian missionaries in Labrador were the first Europeans to settle along the northern coast and became an integral part of the lives of the Inuit who lived north of Lake Melville. Dr. Rollmann and his colleagues have greatly added to the knowledge of this important but too-little known story.

Johann Christian Erhardt and four missionaries were the first Moravians to explore Labrador. Erhardt’s 1752 expedition ended disastrously, however, when he and several colleagues were killed.

He was followed 12 years later by Jens Haven who was the driving force behind the establishment of Nain in 1771, the first European settlement in northern Labrador.

From there, the Moravian mission spread along the coast and thrived for 150 years. The last missionary of European descent left Labrador earlier this decade but several thousand Labradorians still adhere to the Moravian Church, which is now administered by Labradorians.

The symposium was held in Makkovik and Hopedale on the coast in 2002 to mark the 250th anniversary of Erhardt’s voyage to Labrador. The papers presented there are found in this volume.

Dr. Rollmann also contributed two articles to the symposium volume, one titled Johann Christian Erhardt and the First Moravian Exploration of Labrador in 1752, the other dealing with the Moravian land grants.

Dr. James Hiller, former head of the History department, also contributed to the collection, as did former professor of Anthropology Dr. John Kennedy.

Moravian Beginnings in Labrador is the second occasional publication of the journal Newfoundland and Labrador Studies. Newfoundland and Labrador Studies is a bi-annual, interdisciplinary journal devoted to publishing original essays in either English or French about the society and culture of Newfoundland and Labrador.

All journals are available at

Mi’sel Joe: An Aboriginal Chief’s Journey

By Raoul Andersen and John Crellin

Mi’sel Joe: An Aboriginal Chief’s Journey chronicles both the life of an individual and that of his people. Mi’sel Joe is the traditional and administrative chief of Newfoundland’s Conne River Mi’kmaq Reserve. Through a series of taped interviews with Drs. Raoul Andersen and John Crellin, Mi’sel Joe tells his life story, including his unorthodox education through the many migratory jobs that took him as far west as Alberta.

Mi’sel Joe also speaks of a community fighting for the right to determine its own future. He tells of the struggle to revitalize traditional values in the face of racial prejudice. He reveals the steps being taken by aboriginal leaders, both in this province and elsewhere, to help their people gain respect in a white man’s world without losing their own identity. Mi’sel Joe’s story is his own, but it is also a window into Mi’kmaq history, culture, and traditions.

Published by Flanker Press, Mi’sel Joe was a Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools 2009–2010 Selection and a finalist for the 2010 Atlantic Book Awards Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing.

Drs. Andersen and Crellin are honorary research professors at Memorial. Their backgrounds in anthropology, history, and medicine lie behind many collaborative activities. Ever since a Memorial University medical student undertook a project at Conne River in 1993, Andersen and Crellin have been involved with Mi’sel Joe in a variety of conferences and other educational activities.

Mi’sel Joe is available in bookstores around the province.

God Guard Thee Newfoundland

Edited by Dr. Paul J. Johnson

God Guard Thee Newfoundland is an anthology of personal writings and historical research from both historians and journalists.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s 500-year-old fishery developed problems initially resulting from England’s refusal or inability to implement and enforce well-planned fishery regulations. And the governments, justice systems, and land ownership rules that were imposed on the people of this province for hundreds of years were not even close to being logical or adequate.

How will Newfoundlanders and Labradorians now get a fair share in developing their resources? What have they learned from their recent and not-so-recent experiences? God Guard Thee Newfoundland examines these and other pertinent questions facing the province today.

Memorial writers in this collection include university historian Dr. Melvin Baker and Dr. Jeff Webb, history.

Dr. Paul J. Johnson is a businessman and philanthropist. He was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree by Memorial in 1994. God Guard Thee is published by Flanker.