Sweetland, Michael Crummey

“A life was no goddamn thing in the end, he thought. Bits and pieces of make-believe cobbled together to look halfways human, like some stick-and-rag doll meant to scare crows out of the garden. No goddamn thing at all.” sweetland

Back in November, I went to a talk with Michael Crummey at the St. Albert Library that was hosted by the Canadian Literature Centre. Some things are worth making the drive out to St. Albert for. I fell a bit in love with Crummey as he talked about the stories we tell ourselves– in particular the urban legends of people who live in Newfoundland–and why we tell ourselves those stories. He also talked about how his novel Galore was made up of those stories and legends he’d collected from his family and friends.

As I must do at every literary event I attend, I bought a book: the one pictured above. And although I thoroughly enjoyed the read, I craved Galore the entire time. Sweetland tells the story of Moses Sweetland, the only resident of small-town Sweetland who refuses to take the Canadian government’s payout and leave his home. It’s a brilliant tale and posits many significant ideas about place and home, while marking a current issue in Canada. I think you should read this book. I’m just really looking forward to reading Galore in 2015. Maybe you’ll wish you read that one first, too?

Books read: 8

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