3 New Fiction Titles from Award-Winning Novelists

By Yvonne Zipp; Monitor fiction critic | The Christian Science Monitor, June 1, 2011 | Go to article overview

3 New Fiction Titles from Award-Winning Novelists


Yvonne Zipp; Monitor fiction critic, The Christian Science Monitor


Aside from the fact that they are all third novels by award- winning novelists, this month's fiction roundup offers plenty of variety - from a dark fable set on the coast of Newfoundland to a portrait of a Midwestern family in flux to a journalistic thriller set in Nigeria.

Aside from the fact that they are all third novels by award- winning novelists, this month's fiction roundup offers plenty of variety - from a dark fable set on the coast of Newfoundland to a portrait of a Midwestern family in flux to a journalistic thriller set in Nigeria.

#3 "Galore," by Michael Crummey

In the annals of memorable family feuds, the Devines and the Sellerses deserve to be added to the Capulets and the Montagues and the Hatfields and McCoys. Treachery, longing, revenge - the only thing their more famous counterparts have that they don't: better weather.

Oh, Romeo and Juliet may have had angst and thwarted love, but they didn't have to live out their tragedy in a frozen, unforgiving landscape, where farmland is so scarce you could get beaten up for stealing a sack of dirt. Miserable in Italy? Pshaw.

The Newfoundland families at the heart of Michael Crummey's award- winning third novel, Galore (Other Press, 352 pp.), can survive on nothing but potatoes and salt, and they're so tough that a teenage girl insists on getting all her teeth pulled, so she doesn't have to worry about them later. Suicide is for wimps. The Devines and the Sellerses (do note the symbolism in the last names) prefer to plot and scheme and poison their grandchildren's and great- grandchildren's futures.

"Galore" opens when a man is pulled from the belly of a beached whale. He's mute, white-haired, and smells disgusting, but he's alive. Judah, as the locals of the isolated fishing villages of Gut and Paradise Deep christen him, takes up residence at the home of the local witch, the Widow Devine, who once refused the proposal of local fishing tycoon King-me Sellers, when she was his servant. There was cursing, cows that wouldn't give milk, and later charges regarding poison. Her son married his daughter, but that did nothing to heal the rift between the two clans.

Judah never does say a word (or smell any better), but, with him aboard the Devine boat, the residents of Paradise Deep have the best fishing season in memory, filling ships with squid in a scene reminiscent of the New Testament. When Judah gets in trouble with Sellers and the English Army, the Widow marries him off to her only granddaughter, extricating him from trouble, but ensuring that the generational infighting will continue into the 20th century.

Crummey won the Commonwealth Writers' prize, as well as several other awards, for his intricately carved epic, which was published in Canada in 2009 and has been compared to Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude" (minus the rainforest and tropical temperatures).

As in the works of Marquez, the supernatural crops up matter-of- factly in Paradise Deep, where a ghost's boots can put a hole through a ceiling. (Frankly, the locals are too busy trying to survive to marvel at or be spooked by anything out of the ordinary.) There's also something Faulknerian in Crummey's small-town myth- crafting, with echoes of biblical passages from the obvious - Jonah and the whale - to a variant of Jacob and Esau that eliminates the brotherly hug at the end. (Happy reunions aren't really a staple in Paradise Deep.) When a lay preacher tells the story of Abraham and Isaac, explaining that God saved Isaac at the last minute, a resident is skeptical: " 'That don't sound like the God we know out here,' he said."

Readers who like their literary bleakness flash-frozen will find pleasures "Galore."

#2 "The Year We Left Home," by Jean Thompson

Usually, if a novel opens with a mention of lutefisk, you can guarantee it was written by Garrison Keillor. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

3 New Fiction Titles from Award-Winning Novelists
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.