Newfoundland’s authors released a number of books this year that I could recommend, and just as many that I’ve yet to read. Lisa Moore’s Caught received nationwide acclaim and Michael Crummey launched Under the Keel, a highly anticipated poetry collection after a string of award-winning novels. Chad Pelley released his second novel, Every Little Thing, and Wayne Johnston his ninth, Son of a Certain Woman. Our writers are a talented bunch, but I’ve been asked to pick only three. In no particular order:
Carmelita McGrath’s Escape Velocity (Poetry, Goose Lane) – McGrath’s seventh book is a testament to her greatness in the literary pattern of this province. Her ability to observe and create these meditations and musings on a large variety of seemingly everyday, simple experiences and items makes her a poet that can be enjoyed by all types of readers and their various reading preferences.
Claire Wilkshire’s Maxine (Fiction, Breakwater) – Wilkshire has created a story about anxiety, acceptance, risk and friendship that is told in a way that will attract all readers. There aren’t many characters, there is no suspense that makes us wonder what will happen next, but there is a complex, whole character at its center that is enigmatic and sympathetic. Wilkshire’s novel might be a debut but the writing is that of a master.
Vicki Murphy’s MotherFumbler (Humour, Breakwater) – Hilarity and parenting come together in this first collection of blog posts by new mom Vicki Murphy. Her honest and unique perspective gives voice to many stories and anecdotes that speak to the everyday absurdity and awesomeness of parenting in a way that is entertaining, brazen, and refreshing.
Kerri Cull is the proprietor of Book Fridge, one of the country’s finest book blogs, and the author of a fabulous, accessible book of poetry called Soak. Most recently, her short story, “The Musher,” took third place in this year’s Cuffer Prize Competition.