Coast Lines Book Club
Coast Lines Book Club encourages Memorial University alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends to connect through a common love of reading and of literature from Newfoundland and Labrador.
Coast Lines’ highlights both the importance of lifelong learning for the Memorial University community, and the role of our hugely successful creative writing program based in the Department of English, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. The program has played and continues to play a key role in the development and in the careers of Newfoundland and Labrador writers, most of whom have either graduated from the program or taken individual classes.
Jennie's Boy: A Newfoundland Childhood
By Wayne Johnston
Consummate storyteller and bestselling novelist Wayne Johnston reaches back into his past to bring us a sad, tender and at times extremely funny memoir of his Newfoundland boyhood.
For six months between 1966 and 1967, Wayne Johnston and his family lived in a wreck of a house across from his grandparents in Goulds, Newfoundland. At seven, Wayne was sickly and skinny, unable to keep food down, plagued with insomnia and a relentless cough that no doctor could diagnose, though they had already removed his tonsils, adenoids and appendix. To the neighbours, he was known as “Jennie’s boy,” a backhanded salute to his tiny, ferocious mother, who felt judged for Wayne’s condition at the same time as worried he might never grow up.
Unable to go to school, Wayne spent his days with his witty, religious, deeply eccentric maternal grandmother, Lucy. During these six months of Wayne’s childhood, he and Lucy faced two life-or-death crises, and only one of them lived to tell the tale.
Jennie’s Boy is Wayne’s tribute to a family and a community that were simultaneously fiercely protective of him and fed up with having to make allowances for him. His boyhood was full of pain, yes, but also tenderness and Newfoundland wit. By that wit, and through love—often expressed in the most unloving ways—Wayne survived.
- Michael Crummey (BA(Hons.)'87): The Innocents
- Kevin Major (B.Sc.'87, D.Litt'11): One for the Rock
- Megan Gail Coles (BA'03): Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club
- Sonja Boon: What the Oceans Remember
- Alan Doyle (BA'92): All Together Now: A Newfoundlander's Light Tales for Heavy Times
- Us, Now
- Aimee Wall (BA(Hons.)'08): We, Jane
- Anne Budgell (BA'95) Dear Everybody
- Michelle Porter (PhD'16, MA'20): Approaching Fire
- Lisa Moore: This Is How We Love
- Rick Mercer, Talking to Canadians