Information about the author.
The Navigator of New York is set against the background of the tumultuous rivalry between Lieutenant Peary and Dr. Cook to get to the North Pole at the beginning of the 20th century. It is also the story of a young man’s quest for his origins, from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to the bustling streets of New York, and the remotest regions of the Arctic.
Devlin Stead’s father, an Arctic explorer, stops returning home at the end of his voyages and announces he is moving to New York, as “New York is to explorers what Paris is to artists”; eventually he is declared missing from an expedition. His mother meets an untimely death by drowning shortly after. Young Devlin, who barely remembers either of them, lives contently in the care of his affectionate aunt and indifferent uncle, until taunts from a bullying fellow schoolboy reveal dark truths underlying the bare facts he knows about his family. A rhyme circulated around St. John’s further isolates Devlin, always seen as an odd…[more]
“The Colony of Unrequited Dreams” is Newfoundland—that vast, haunting near-continent upon which the two lovers and adversaries of this miraculously inventive novel pursue their ambitions.
Joey Smallwood, sprung from almost Dickensian privation, is a scholarship boy at a private school, where his ready wit bests the formidably tart-tongued Sheilagh Fielding. Their dual fates become forever linked by an anonymous letter to a local paper critical of the school—a letter whose mysterious authorship will weigh heavily on their lives.
Driven by socialist dreams and political desire, Smallwood will walk a railroad line the breadth of Newfoundland in a journey of astonishing power and beauty, to unionize the workers—and make his name. Fielding, now a popular newspaper columnist, provides—in her journalism, her diaries, and her bleakly hilarious “Condensed History of Newfoundland”—a satirical and eloquent…[more]