NOVA SCOTIA – January LOCAL TOP 5
NEW BRUNSWICK – JANUARY LOCAL TOP 5
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND – JANUARY LOCAL TOP 5
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR – JANUARY LOCAL TOP 5
NOVA SCOTIA – January LOCAL TOP 5
NEW BRUNSWICK – JANUARY LOCAL TOP 5
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND – JANUARY LOCAL TOP 5
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR – JANUARY LOCAL TOP 5
It was in 2013 that Phillip Boudreau was dropped—allegedly—to the bottom of the sea, but his neighbours would not be entirely surprised if he walked out of the ocean tomorrow, coated in seaweed and dripping with brine, smiling.
After all, Phillip had often vanished for long periods during his forty-three years, and he always came back to where he’d grown up—Alderney Point, at the edge of the Acadian village of Petit de Grat on Isle Madame, Nova Scotia. Afterwards it would turn out that he had been in prison, or out West, or hiding in the woods. Perhaps the police had been looking for him and he’d have tucked himself away in other people’s boats or trailers, or curled up and gone to sleep in the bushes of the moorland near his family’s home, his face coated with droplets of fog. He and his dog often slept in a rickety shed outside his parents’ home, where the narrow dirt road ends at the rocky shore of Chedabucto Bay. He’d even been known to hollow out a snowbank and shelter himself from the bitter night in the cold white cavern he’d created. …
Some people loved Phillip. He could be funny, helpful, kind. He was generous to old people, good with animals, gentle with children. Other people hated and feared him, though they tended to conceal their feelings. If you crossed him he might threaten to sink your boat, shoot you, burn down your house. He could make you fearful for the safety of your daughter. Would he actually do anything violent? Hard to say.
Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi
Ekwuyasi’s writing is so rich and enlightening, and her storytelling so captivating that I had to keep reminding myself while reading her book – it is her first.
I’m not the only one awed by her deeply moving debut novel; a book exploring trauma, healing and the beautifully complex relationships between mothers and daughters. It was longlisted for the prestigious and lucrative 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize.
The novel tells the interwoven stories of Kambirinachi and her daughters, Kehinde and Taiye. Being an ogbanje, a spirit that plagues families with misfortune by dying in childhood to cause its mother misery, Kambirinachi is convinced that she made an unnatural choice to stay alive for her family and now fears the consequences of that decision.
Stay the Blazes Home by Len Wagg
Photographer Len Wagg’s collection of stirring images and stories not only reminded me of some of the pleasant and not-so-pleasant things I endured this past year, it also made me think about how future Nova Scotians will look at 2020. Wagg did the same.
“When I saw social media posts with stories and photos from the Nova Scotia Archives referencing the influenza pandemic of 1918, I began to wonder how future generations would see this pandemic. Where would the images of this unprecedented time come from? After the Facebook posts and tweets went away, what would remain as a snapshot of life during COVID-19?” he writes.
The book’s most touching images include: Betty Dryden, a resident of a long-term care facility in Hubley, blowing a kiss to her daughter, Tracy through a closed window during a Sunday visit; Sandy Wagg, a Grade Two teacher at Holland Road Elementary School in Fletchers Lake, going through an online lesson with her students from her kitchen table.
Memoir: Conversations and Craft by Marjorie Simmins.
A nice mix of memoir history, inspiration and how-to tips, Simmins’ book is encouraging for anyone keen to write a personal narrative.
“Writing memoirs is empowering: it’s your story, told your way. Remember: your job is to create a beautiful, moving story. With memoir, your life is art,” she writes.
Simmins has kind and stirring words for anyone who thinks they might not have anything interesting to write because they haven’t travelled the world, found a cure for a life-threatening disease or won a prestigious award.
“Sometimes the quiet lives can be the most staggeringly beautiful lives.”
Blood in the Water by Silver Donald Cameron
Reading this book, it’s not hard to see why Cameron, who died this June, was one of the country’s most esteemed writers and winner of many awards. It marks the end of his illustrious career.
In this masterfully told true story, Cameron traces a brutal murder in a Cape Breton fishing community, raises questions of what is right and wrong and explores the nature of good and evil. From the opening paragraph, Cameron’s writing grips.”
“It was in 2013 that Phillip Boudreau was dropped – allegedly – to the bottom of the sea, but his neighbours would not be entirely surprised if he walked out of the ocean tomorrow, coated in seaweed and dripped with brine, smiling.”
Grandma’s Cookies, Cakes, Pies and Sweets by Alice Burdick
I admit, I probably have one of the biggest sweet tooths – so this book, with its beautiful colour photographs by Callen Singer, was a natural draw for me. I love baking and I love the idea of food and recipes drawing generations together.
“Recipes handed down through a family are a form of time travel — you can imagine a great-great-grandmother tasting the very same flavours as you eat a forkful of home-baked apple pie,” writes Burdick.
The book’s recipes were originally published in 1967 in A Treasury of Nova Scotia Heirloom Recipes — a centennial project of Nova Scotia’s Department of Agriculture and Marketing. Collected from books dating as far back as the 1870s, many of the recipes came from old family cookbooks and notebooks. Burdick, a baker and poet, revised and tested all the recipes, trying to make them more appealing, while keeping their essence and time-honoured traditions.
Nova Scotia and the Great Influenza Pandemic, 1918-1920 compiled and edited by Ruth Holmes Whitehead
Living in the midst of a pandemic and not knowing when it will end, it was eerie to learn that more than 2,000 Nova Scotians died during the influenza pandemic a century ago. Maybe the most chilling part of this thoroughly research book comes at the end: a list of names of the dead that covers several pages.
Relatives of people who were alive during the great influenza were interviewed; their heart-wrenching stories show that every city, town, village and isolated settlement was affected.
Whitehead wanted her book to be “a useful guide for what to do and what not to do” in a pandemic. But by the time the book was published, the world was seized by COVID-19.
Looking back, the great influenza taught that the most important thing any government, at any level, can do in a pandemic is to tell people the absolute truth about what’s going on, what the dangers are and what measures they will have to take, writes Whitehead.
—Allison Lawlor is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Homemakers, Canadian Living, and University Affairs magazines. She is a regular book reviewer with The Chronicle Herald. Her own books include Rum-Running, A Royal Couple in Canada, Broken Pieces: An Orphan of the Halifax Explosion and “The Saddest Ship Afloat”: The Tragedy of the MS St. Louis.
Check out which local Atlantic books were flying off the shelves in August.
I got an email from Silver Donald Cameron in 2011, thanking me for a supportive comment I’d left on his latest Chronicle Herald column online. He also encouraged me to join his mailing list.
I knew who he was. My Great Aunt Margaret Benjamin Hammer had listed him in the acknowledgements of her book of poetry, Dim Time and History on a Garrison Clock, in 1992. But I didn’t want to gush. I responded and told him I’d sign on to his mailing list so as not to miss a column. At the time, my email signature was essentially a short bio, which I used to let people know I was a writer for hire.
“You’ve got an impressive resume, and I’d like to read your work,” he responded. He wanted to join my email list. I didn’t have an email list. But if Silver Donald Cameron wanted to read my work … well, I started a listserv.
Don and I corresponded for years, via mailing list and individual responses. Eventually I had the privilege of helping him with some writing projects, including writing bios for a while for The Green Interview, his “series of in-depth conversations with the thinkers, artists and activists whose ideas and work are leading the way to a new era of sustainability.”
We became friends, interviewed and wrote about each other, had coffees and lunches and befriended one another’s wives. As a self-employed writer, he was the thinker after whom I modelled myself. We shared the same concerns and a similar worldview. Time and again I turned to him for advice, on how to set prices, dealing with difficult clients, find new markets, structure nonfiction, choose among emerging technologies–he always generously obliged with wisdom and insight. What a lucky privilege, to have been able to pick the brain of a mind like his.
His 82 years are impossible to summarize. He was too active, accomplished too much. A few lines simply can’t do him justice. But I will note some highlights.
He was born in Toronto but grew up in Vancouver, later receiving an MA at Berkeley and Ph.D. at the University of London. While working as an English professor at the University of New Brunswick, he founded The Mysterious East, an alternative news magazine with a critical perspective.
He made his home in Isle Madame Cape Breton in 1971, drawn by the tight community there. Building a closer sense of community drove Don throughout his life.
There he wrote some of his most popular books: Wind, Whales and Whisky; The Education of Everett Richardson; and The Living Beach. Twenty books in all.
He also wrote novels, a play script and numerous dramatic radio plays for CBC. He founded Development Isle Madame and a community television station CIMC-TV, known as Telile. He was appointed to both the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia, and was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
He spent decades as a successful freelance writer for magazines and newspapers, but by the 1990s, he wrote, “it was clearly time to abandon the field.” The rates of pay simply didn’t match the work involved.
He adapted with the times, and moved more into books and documentary film making. He founded The Green Interview, a subscription-based service, from which stemmed film projects and a recent book, Warrior Lawyers, profiling lawyers around the world working to give nature the protection of legal rights. He recently returned to a dream teaching gig, again focused on environment, at Cape Breton University, as the first Farley Mowat Chair in Environment, named after his old dear friend.
His accomplishments were many and diverse. Every one of them was driven by the love of two things: a good story, and people. He wanted to make a better world for everyone. His diverse and profound impact show in the variety of people–activists, environmentalists, journalists, book writers–lamenting his loss via social media:
A giant is gone. JOHN DeMONT: Acclaimed N.S. writer, environmentalist Silver Donald Cameron dies | The Chronicle Herald https://t.co/jAT4FPkCbK
— John DeMont (@CH_coalblackhrt) June 2, 2020
Journalist and environmentalist Silver Donald Cameron died Monday. His longtime colleague Linden MacIntyre joins us at 9:55am, to reflect on the legacy he’s left behind.
— CBC Radio: The Current (@TheCurrentCBC) June 2, 2020
We are very sad to hear about the passing of environmental rights defender Silver Donald Cameron. A champion for protecting our communities. https://t.co/dV6vr6oRPg
— Blue Dot Ottawa (@BlueDot_Ottawa) June 2, 2020
We’re deeply saddened to learn that Silver Donald Cameron passed away today. Don was a warm spirit, an unrelenting voice for change—he inspired and encouraged countless people. We send love and support to his partner Marjorie Simmins, whose work often appears in this magazine. pic.twitter.com/y00ORYtHH0
— Halifax Magazine (@HalifaxMagazine) June 1, 2020
We are saddened to learn of the passing of our dear friend and supporter Dr. Silver Donald Cameron. Don was an acclaimed journalist, author, educator, environmentalist and playwright. For more information on Dr. Cameron’s collection, please visit: https://t.co/r2zEz5bcqW pic.twitter.com/lT40djO8GD
— Beaton Institute (@beatoninstitute) June 1, 2020
RIP Silver Donald Cameron. The Education of Everett Richardson is the best book ever written about working-class struggle in Canada. pic.twitter.com/UwczcJgo5E
— Pandemic Pogey (@StandingTheGaff) June 1, 2020
Very sorry to hear my old friend Silver Donald Cameron has died. Two of his stories stand out: A Herald column admiring the genius of rural engineers; and “Snapshot – The Third Drunk,” a poignant, and wickedly funny story in the Atlantic about a funeral in D’Escousse. 1/x
— Parker Donham (@kempthead) June 1, 2020
— Raymond Plourde (@EACwilderness) June 1, 2020
I am so saddened to hear of the death of Silver Donald Cameron. We had been communicating by email for a couple of years now and had spoken by phone for a profile of his Green Interview project. This was to have been the summer we finally met for a (socially distant) coffee.
— Mary Campbell (@MaryPCampbell) June 1, 2020
Some years ago, the amount of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere reached the alarming level of 390 parts per million. Last year we were told that the level had now reached 400 ppm. And in less than twenty years from now carbon dioxide levels are projected to reach 450 ppm. Climate scientists have been warning us of the grave dangers for the planet and its inhabitants if we don’t deal with this issue and succeed in reversing this trend.
In 2009, one of the most respected climatologists in the world, Dr. Jim Hansen, published a book with the alarming title, Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity. In the years since, many other reports have been issued by reputable scientists from around the world with equally dire warnings. Most of us have paid little attention and continue on our merry way, like lemmings headed for the cliff, oblivious of the precipice ahead.
It is in this rather negative and hopeless frame of mind that I was recently sent a copy of Silver Donald Cameron’s latest book, Warrior Lawyers: Attorneys for the Earth. At first I wasn’t keen on delving into it, yet another book on a subject – climate and the environment – that no one seems to be able to do anything about. But after reading the first few pages, I was hooked and couldn’t put it down until I had finished it.
Cameron is a born storyteller and a people person, an enviable combination for any writer. In this, his latest opus, these skills again serve him very well. The book is a series of interviews he conducted with lawyers from literally around the world, who have dedicated a good part of their professional work to protecting and preserving our ecosystems through enshrining and enforcing environmental rights in the constitutions and the laws of their countries, and in international law.
In the book, we meet a fascinating and inspiring group of seventeen men and women, pioneers doing groundbreaking work, often pro bono, in the field of law and the environment. I call them pioneers because, if we, as the residents of the planet, survive the present onslaught of global warming and climate change, that’s exactly how these people will be known by future generations.
I’m embarrassed to admit that before reading the book, I had not heard of any of them. Having just finished the book, I now feel that I know them as friends, and my admiration for them and for their work is boundless. David Boyd and John Borrows (Canada); Cormac Cullinan (South Africa); Pablo Fajardo (Ecuador), Antonio Oposa, Jr. (Philippines); Marjan Minnesma and Roger Cox (the Netherlands); Polly Higgins (the United Kingdom); Steven Donziger (the United States) – these are some of the amazing people I’ve met in the pages of this book. They are fighting and winning groundbreaking and precedent-setting cases having environmental rights enshrined in national and international law. These, as well as the rest of the seventeen people profiled, should be household names around the world and, hopefully, if this book is widely read, as it deserves to be, they will become well known and they will motivate thousands of people to get involved in environmental issues, wherever they are.
Three of the precedent-setting cases described in this book need to be mentioned and need to be made known internationally: the Mendoza case in Argentina; the Chevron-Texaco case in Ecuador; and the Urgenda Case in the Netherlands. In each of these cases we have judicial decisions that were not thought possible at the time and that will empower the environmental movement in the immediate and long-term future. These cases should be made compulsory study in every law school, in every country, in the world. The Chevron-Texaco case, in particular, is an international one that has been going on for years, and has a Canadian component which is presently playing itself out in our judicial system. The chapter describing the history of this case is worth the price of the book itself.
We all owe Silver Donald Cameron a huge debt of gratitude for all the work and effort he has put into this project and in other environmental efforts over the years. An almost octogenarian, he could well sit back and enjoy his remaining years and let the rest of us worry about the fate of the planet. Instead he soldiers on. He and his work are an inspiration for us all. According to a leading climatologist, Dr. Mark Jacobson, of Stanford University, “There are no technological or economic barriers to converting the entire world to clean, renewable energy sources. It is a question of whether we have the societal and political will.” All of us need do our part, all of us need to get involved, and make our voices heard.
[Editors note: This book is not available in stores, but can be purchased in paper or as an e-book format from Amazon or from the author at the link below:]
On the eve of Silver Donald Cameron’s 80th birthday, he is embarking on an ambitious tour — of his own making — across Canada to promote his 18th book, Warrior Lawyers From Manila to Manhattan, Attorneys for the Earth. In fact, the book is part of a multi-media project: he’s also screening his 90-minute documentary, called Green Rights, the Human Right to a Healthy World, in 11 venues, and is a guest lecturer at 11 universities.
Does nature have rights? Do human beings have rights to nature’s elemental offerings, such as air, water and food, and do we have a responsibility to protect nature? These questions are central to his cross-country blitz.
“Environmental rights represent an incredibly powerful tool that can apply to a huge range of issues,” Cameron says. “The human right to a healthy environment, and Mother Earth’s right to respect and security, are concepts so powerful that they can reshape almost every individual environmental issue: pollution of the air and water, climate change, biodiversity, loss of soil, security of food and energy, and so forth.”
Although environmental rights are embedded in the legal systems of 180 member countries of the United Nations — with examples of successful prosecution accordingly cited in Warrior Lawyers — 13 countries, including Canada and the US, do not recognize these rights. A growing movement in both countries seeks to change that.
“We want to support that struggle by bringing inspiring stories from other countries to Canadian audiences,” says Cameron. “There are innovative legal battles going on around the world in nations such as the Philippines, Argentina, the Netherlands, Ecuador … There are dramas in the courts and on the land, where citizens and lawyers are taking on national governments and global corporations — and winning.”
While storytelling is a key tool for Cameron as an author, it’s also one for environmental activists, leading to education and societal change. John Borrows, a Canadian Anishinaabe legal scholar featured in Warrior Lawyers, points out that Canada’s legal traditions “rest on stories. What are known as ‘cases’ and ‘precedents’ are fundamentally stories, and it is through the process of bringing stories together and negotiating meaning and priority between them that law emerges … the purpose of legal action is not only to seek a favourable decision, but also to tell the story.”
Similarly, Tony Oposa, in the Philippines, regards himself not as a lawyer but rather as a storyteller, using the law to tell stories that the community needs to hear. “If he held a press conference to tell his story,” Cameron writes, “nobody would come — and if they did come, they wouldn’t really pay attention, and the story would soon be forgotten.
“But if he tells the story of the forests and the unborn generations in the form of a lawsuit, influential people will have to listen; the truth of the story will be established by the evidence; there will be an accurate record; and ultimately there will be a decision. And if the suit fails, he can appeal — and the story will be told all over again. A lawsuit undertaken in this spirit cannot really be lost.”
Warrior Lawyers presents interviews with 15 trailblazing lawyers from nine countries, including Canada, as well as an introductory essay by Cameron. Atlantic Books Today sat down with Silver Donald Cameron to learn more about the film, the book, and the man behind them both.
Atlantic Books Today: You say you’re doing this for the future; that you believe the implementation of environmental rights in Canada would make a huge difference to the country’s environmental performance, as it has in many other countries. Can you provide an example of an area here that would improve environmentally?
Silver Donald Cameron: In a way, the whole question is one of power: who has the power to decide what kind of water you’ll drink, what kind of air you’ll breathe, what kind of food you’ll eat. Most of us would say, that should be us, we should have the power to make that decision, but we don’t. Take Pictou County, NS, for example, where the water and air have been fouled for 50 years by Northern Pulp. No one can take action on its emissions control except the government. But if you were in say, Argentina, you could sue the government for failing to protect your right to a healthy environment, and you could win. People have been doing that all over the world.
ABT: What specifically started you on this environmental call to arms?
SDC: I’ve been writing about environmental issues since at least 1970 when I was the editor of a little magazine called Mysterious East. Over the years as the news has gotten worse I’ve become more and more concerned about it but also more and more interested in what people are doing about it, which is really what the book and film are about: telling good-news stories, and in this case, saying, well here’s an instrument that Canadians could have, and then we could all be taking care of the environment on our own initiative rather than having to be supplicant to the government to take action on our behalf.
When I was researching The Living Beach [Cameron’s 1998 book, which won the Richardson nonfiction prize] I discovered an essay by Southern California law professor Christopher Stone, “Should trees have Standing? Toward Legal Rights for Natural Objects.” He wrote, say there’s a case of a river that’s polluted and a company upstream is doing the polluting and a town downstream is suffering from it. The town has legal rights and the company has legal rights, but neither one is a real tangible object. The river and all the life forms in and around the river do not have those rights, yet those are real. There’s something deeply absurd about this.
Of course our First Nations have had a reverence and a respect for Mother Nature as part of their philosophy and legal system forever.
ABT: John Borrows says: “If you see the Creator, or the trees, or the waters, or the animals, or people’s own living interactions as being the source of authority — the criteria, the precedent — then you would obviously have another view of where you should look to find law.” Can you reflect on your own sense of spiritualism?
SDC: My father was an atheist, my mother was quite a devout Christian, but over the years I’ve come to see these as being too simple a reading of reality. If you believe that the Earth belongs to the Crown, and the Crown confers ownership to you through a chain of transactions, then the land is property. Whereas if you believe it’s a gift of the Creator, then it’s intrinsically sacred, the whole world is a sacred space, and you have obligations towards it rather than rights over it. That’s a spiritual evolution I’ve gone through, though it takes me back to where the First Nations were in the first place.
ABT: Your conversation with David Boyd indicates that Canadians see themselves as being progressive … more than 90 percent of Canadians think that government should recognize the right to a healthy environment; more than 50 percent of Canadians think it’s already in the Charter. Yet in truth, Canada ranks poorly in international comparisons of environmental performance. What might that tell us?
SDC: I think it tells us that we live in a world with a lot of wishful thinking. People believe they live in a world they don’t actually live in; they believe they have rights that they don’t actually have. There’s a sense that Canadians (and others too) haven’t caught up with the reality that human beings can, on a large scale and permanently, change the course and character of the world around them. Even when I was growing up this is not a concept we would have had in our minds at all. We thought the forest was more or less infinite: you can chop away at it and never wear it out, for example. Now, we know that’s not true.
ABT: You say in Warrior Lawyers that your mother thought you would make a good lawyer; instead you became an author, who has spent a good chunk of time recently interviewing lawyers. Do you feel she would be pleased?
SDC: When she recognized I was a writer she said, “How was I to know you were a writer. I wouldn’t have taken the view of you that I did in some ways if I had known you were an inventor of stories and a teller of tales.” I think the idea of me being someone who interviews and writes about lawyers would amuse her. She was right in thinking that this kind of inquiry and area of intellectual life suited me, though it came to me in a different way. I also think that If I had known then what I know now about what a lawyer can be, I might very well have made a different decision about it.
ABT: How else has publishing this book, along with doing the interviews and producing the documentary, changed you?
SDC: It’s made me a little more ruthless in my thinking about some of these things; I don’t shrink so much from some of the implications. I think very often one starts on a certain path and after a bit you say, “Oh, wait a minute. If I continue to say that, and the implications are x y z, and I’m going to have to change my mind, my outlook and probably my actions.” That’s not often a comfortable place or process, but I think it’s a necessary one, and one I’ve set upon with all this.
ABT: From research through writing, to printing and selling, Warrior Lawyers has been published in-house, by Green Interview Books, an imprint of your company Paper Tiger Enterprises. You note that “there wasn’t time to spend dealing with a publisher.” Can you comment on the urgency?
SDC: We knew the film was going to be finished and released in 2016, and I thought the book should come out at the same time, to be part of the tour—each tells the same stories but in different formats; plus Warrior Lawyers goes into much greater depth into the stories of the individual lawyers. The commercial publishing process is just very slow. Having said that, there are advantages to going that route. Each phase of this project has been so demanding that you couldn’t really think much about the next phase because you are so absorbed in the one you are in. So when I was writing the book I couldn’t think too much about the tour, and so on.
ABT: What books have you read that have left a lasting impression?
SDC: A lot go back to childhood, not that you can’t change later, but the really profound experiences seem to happen earlier. Books like Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons series, which I absolutely loved — all set out in the natural world. And of course sailing stories; I spent a lot of my adult life sailing. One of the things I love about being out at sea is the close encounters with the natural world like whales, or dolphins frolicking in the wake. You see birds out there that you never see on the shore. You and your little boat are immersed in the sea and the sky and the birds and animals that live there. It gives you some sense of proportion.
Farley Mowat’s Sea of Slaughter certainly had a powerful effect on me, as did Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring — once again, we had no idea about things. This wonderful pesticide DDT that was doing so many useful things was actually a lethal poison that would start killing birds in the Arctic. Her book dramatically brought that concept into public consciousness — it’s often called the founding book of the environmental movement, which I think is apt.
ABT: Do writers ever retire?
SDC: Well I’m a good one to ask about that I guess! Margaret Laurence thought they should. She had read quite a lot of writers, and felt the work they published after a normal retirement age generally was inferior to what they published before, often devaluing it. So she resolved to stop at about 60, and did. But I kept saying, wait until you see the deterioration. I think she was just getting richer, and deeper, and more subtle, but she didn’t feel that way, and that was her choice.
So some writers do retire, but there are others for whom the experience of the world isn’t complete unless they try to understand it, and the best possible way to understand it is to try to explain it to somebody else, or to tell stories that will reveal it. I think it’s the impulse to reflect on experience, and to share that.
I’ve often said that I became a writer not to make money but to make magic. That was the impulse, to write books that would make people happy, would allow people to see things, would make people laugh, would enrich their lives. Making magic is an addiction. If I thought I was no longer capable of making magic I guess I would quit. But if I’m still enriching people’s lives at 85, I’ll still be doing it at 85.
To find out about Silver Donald Cameron’s publicity tour and speaking engagements across the country, October-November 2016, please go to thegreeninterview.com.
In Coastal Lives, essayist Marjorie Simmins shares her own love story through a bundle of essays arranged in no evident chronology, connected more by the memories and moments that shaped her present day life rather than a lineal unfolding. The result is a multidimensional examination of her life leading to her marriage to fellow writer Silver Donald Cameron.
The memoir frankly recreates the coast-to-coast tension between Cameron’s life rooted in his love for Cape Breton Island, and Simmins’ matching love for Canada’s west coast and her Vancouver home.
Through Simmins’ collage of essays, the core story itself draws the author towards the risk of honesty, a leap of faith and an ultimate trust in the promise of love waiting on the far side of the continent.
Coastal Lives is a professional and honest telling of something rare in many memoirs, a happy ending.
by Marjorie Simmins
$19.95, paperback, 192 pp.
Pottersfield Press, April 2014
AtlanticBooks.ca is your source for Atlantic Canadian books. Stay up to date with the latest books news, feature stories, and reviews, and browse our catalogue of local books where you can download samples, borrow digital books from your local library, or purchase them through local book sellers or publishers.
Atlantic Books is part of the #ReadAtlantic community, which brings together Atlantic Canadian authors, bookstores, publishers, libraries, readers, literary festivals, and more. We encourage you to use this hashtag to promote all the ways we can support the local literary landscape in Atlantic Canada.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund for this project, as well as the Province of Nova Scotia’s Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.